Chase Away Winter Gloom With Sheltie Love!

Does it seem as though we’ve been in this pandemic lock-down forever? Sure feels that way in our house!

In search of happy news, I was delighted to see the beautiful Sheltie, Katie, back to tell us all about her latest adventure.  Here she is posing for her mama:

Photo of Katie

©2021 Dawn Kinster (posted with permission)

Just a few lines from today’s post:

She hurried up and packed my adventure bag (treats, water, poop bags, you know, the essentials) and the next thing I know she’s putting stuff in the car and I’m not sure if I’m invited, so I follow her right down the steps into the garage.

Mama laughed and put me in my car so I knew I got to go. I was all wiggle butt. And I was even more excited when I got to get out of the car in a few minutes and we were at my park! Last time I got to go somewhere I ended up at the vet. I was not so wiggle butt there, I can tell you that!

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My own Sheltie, by the way, shares Katie’s opinion of vet visits. We’re still waiting for Sasha’s coat to grow in after having her flank shaved for surgery in late fall. Until it does, I insist she wear a coat that covers her flanks. Sasha is not impressed. She’s not impressed by snow, either, and would rather stay on the covered patio and watch Buddy The Wonder Cat leap around the backyard whenever it snows, even when it’s just a dusting. Without much exercise, Sasha is likely to gain more than Katie’s “Covid 2 pounds” before we venture out to the park ourselves!

To read the whole post and see more photos of this beautiful Sheltie, go to Dawn Kinster’s blog and you’ll find today’s post here.  Be sure to check out the sidebar which has links to more Katie adventures!

Is A Puppy The Right Gift?

Thinking of giving someone a puppy this holiday season (or any time of the year)? Award-winning Certified Animal Behavior Consultant Amy Shojai offers eight questions worth considering before you make your final decision. Take a look:

    1. Is the recipient already overwhelmed with other responsibilities that require his or her complete attention? A person who is coping with financial stress, sick family members, or a demanding job may not be able to maintain a puppy.
    2. Does this person spend a great deal of time away from home? If so, is there someone at home who can dedicate time to puppy care?
    3. Does the recipient have the space to house another member of the family?
    4. Can this person afford a puppy? Even a healthy dog is a financial responsibility; pet food and well pet care are not cheap. If the puppy turns out to have medical issues, the costs could run into the thousands.
    5. How stable is this individual? A new puppy may seem like a good way to help someone become more responsible, but the reality is that puppies are not training wheels; they need responsible, caring homes from the moment they arrive.
    6. Is this person going through (or about to go through) major life changes? A couple expecting a baby, a recent high school or college graduate, or a senior whose health is declining are all examples of people who probably do not need a puppy in their lives.
    7. Will the new puppy owner survive to care for the dog over the next 10 to 20 years? This question should be asked when you are considering the idea of giving a puppy to a lonely senior. If that individual is not likely to outlive the pet, will you be willing and able to give it a home?
    8. If you are giving a puppy to a child, are the child’s parents supportive of the idea? Children delight in puppy presents for holiday surprises, but breathing gifts cannot be shoved under the bed and forgotten when the latest must-have gadget has more appeal. Remember—even if Fido is for the kids, the parent ultimately holds responsibility for the well-being of the pet. Will the child’s parents have the time to spend on one-on-one attention a new pet needs and deserves?

    Read the rest of the article at The Spruce Pets. And be sure to check out Amy’s website, too. You’ll find great info about her fiction as well as her non-fiction books. In addition to authoring more than two dozen pet care books, she also writes “dog-centric” thrillers.

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    Let’s close out the year on a high note! Here’s a slideshow of pups in winter, courtesy of photographers who share their work via the website Pexels.com.

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    See you in 2021!

    News from the Kennel Club of Philadelphia

     

    If your holiday plans include watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade followed by The National Dog Show on television, you’re in luck! Each grand event is still on the schedule, but expect some changes.

    Biggest changes for the dog show: no spectators in the audience, and no dogs will be “benched” for the public to view. Also missing: vendors, sponsors and media representatives, with the exception of NBC personnel. (Makes sense, as they’re airing the event.) Nurses will be on site; masks, hand sanitizers, and physical distancing between officials as well as dogs and their handlers.

    Here are key excerpts from the Philadelphia Kennel Club’s announcement about this year’s event. I’ve also included links to the most recent updates I could find.

    • With full attention being given to state and local health and safety issues for activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and under the guidance of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and the Montgomery County Department of Health, a single, two-day show will be held on Nov. 14- 15 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.
    • The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show will go forward in 2020 with no spectators and with the approving guidance of regional health and safety authorities. The show will be televised on Thanksgiving Day (noon-2 p.m. in all time zones), Nov. 26, following the telecast of NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
    • In recent years, the club has conducted two separate dog shows during the big Philadelphia weekend, but this November the club will conduct just one show divided over those two days. The competition will be limited to some 600 dogs (200 each day), a decrease of 70% from the near-2000 entries usually on hand. Four groups will be judged on Saturday, with the remaining three plus Best In Show set for Sunday.
    • Further information on the National Dog Show and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Shows can be obtained at www.nationaldogshow.com

    Find updated information at https://nds.nationaldogshow.com/ and NBC Sports.com.

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    New in 2020! According to https://sports.nbcsports.com/2020/11/13/what-to-know-about-national-dog-show-2020-thanksgiving/ we’ll see three breeds make their National Dog Show debut:

    • The Barbet, which competes in the Sporting Group, originated as a water dog in France. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Barbet is a calm dog but was bred to help retrieve birds. The breed’s name comes from the French word “barbe,” which means beard.
    • The rare Belgian Laekenois (“Lak-in-wah”) joins the Herding Group. This strong, sturdy and protective breed has a rough, tousled coat that can be shades of red, fawn or grey. The Belgian Laekenois was originally bred and raised to guard livestock and linens drying outside before serving as messenger dogs during WWI and WWII.
    • The Dogo Argentino, which falls under the Working Group, was originally a pack-hunting dog in Argentina. The breed was known to take down wild boar and puma, among other large game. Dogo Argentinos have short, white coats, but a dark patch near the eye is permitted as long as it doesn’t cover too much of the head.

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    A Safe Haven

    If you’re a fan of the Superman comics, you’ve probably heard stories about his Fortress of Solitude. Depending on which fan group you follow, some believe the fortress to be a stronghold, while others argue it’s a secret weapons cache, and still others see it as a safe haven free of destructive forces. Personally, I like the idea of a safe haven, and not just for superheroes.

    Since late summer, I’ve come to think of my home office as my own fortress–a safe haven from the unpredictable and the scary. One scare in particular has me spending even more time sequestered with my beautiful Sheltie by my side. In addition to gall bladder problems (common, I’ve learned, for many of her breed), Sasha developed a large mass on her side which grew so rapidly our veterinarian recommended removal. The surgery and subsequent use of a Penrose drain at the surgical site meant Sasha stayed in my office so I can watch her closely. I set up her portable crate next to my desk, and Buddy The Wonder Cat promptly claimed the top. (Have I mentioned he considers Sasha “his dog”?) She’s ignored the crate for the most part, preferring instead to stretch out on the floor on her Thomas the Train blanket.

    Overall, she’s been a real trooper, accepting the entire process with grace and, recently, a resurgence of her good humor, although she’s no fan of the T-shirts I’m using to cover her torso, and has managed–twice– to wiggle out of a securely-pinned shirt. (She demonstrates her disdain for the shirt by pushing it into a far corner of the room.) Fortunately, she hasn’t bothered the incision (and it’s a big one) even when it’s not covered. As for me, I’ve started a countdown calendar and am longing for the day when my girl can resume squirrel patrol in the yard and long walks in the park.

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    You’d think with all this time in the office I would have made progress on Dangerous Deeds, wouldn’t you? I’d like to say I did, but I confess I’ve channeled most of my energy into helping Sasha. Along the way, though, I did spend some time on Book #3 in the series. Watch this site for a forthcoming sneak peek at what’s ahead for the gang at Waterside Kennels.

    Get Ready and Go!

    Photo from AKC

    Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods– there’s always a chance natural disasters will hit where you or your loved ones live. It’s a good idea to tune the NOAA Weather Radio to your local emergency station to hear the latest reports of weather in your area. And if you’re watching weather conditions where friends and family live, the FEMA app allows you to track National Weather Service reports from five different locations anywhere in the US.

    Have a plan! This Pet Disaster Kit Checklist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (commonly known as the CDC) is one of the best I’ve seen; print copies and keep it with the essential documents you’ll take with you.

    The American Kennel Club publishes expert advice and information regarding pet safety in the event you have to flee your home. Your dog’s go-bag should include items such as:

    • bottled drinking water (during an emergency, tap water can be contaminated)
    • food in waterproof containers or cans. (Choose pop-top tins or pack a can opener.) Bring enough for at least two weeks
    • food and water bowls.
    • prescription medications and other required health supplies
    • dog first aid kit
    • poop bags and other clean-up supplies
    • familiar items like toys, bedding, and blankets to comfort your dog.
    • stress-relieving items like an anxiety vest or calming sprays if your dog is prone to anxiety

    Build your own “Go” bag.  Use a backpack or small tote to stash extra kibble, leashes, collars, and basic first-aid supplies. Tag everything with your name, address, phone number, and/or email. Collapsible bowls are a great addition and don’t take much space. Put paperwork in sealed plastic bags, and make sure to include your name, address, and phone number!

    If you’re traveling by vehicle, add extra jugs of water, towels, tarps, ropes, and bungees. Duct tape and small hand tools can be easily stored beneath a seat. If you have to evacuate on foot, roll up the tarp and fasten it to your backpack with those ropes or bungees.  If you are stranded on the side of the road or have to camp outdoors, you’ll be able to rig up a basic shelter.

    For more resources and information about pet-focused disaster planning, check out AKC’s emergency evacuation plan. And take time to review their suggestions for what to include in your first-aid kit for pets.

    Identification: Microchips are one smart way to ID your pets. My Sasha and Buddy The Wonder Cat are both microchipped and registered with AKC Reunite. Make sure you complete your registration and keep your contact info current.

    Take photos now of your pets. Photograph them standing, left and right profiles, and face-on head shots. Take additional photos showing you with your pets. If you can tag or add metadata to each photo, that’s even better. (To learn how, click here.) Save copies to Dropbox and/or email them to yourself and others. That way, if you lose your phone or computer, you can easily retrieve them.

    Check out these helpful resources:

    Emergency Preparedness: The Essential Guide for Dog Owners

    Create a “bug out bag” for your cat

    Pets in Evacuation Centers

    How to Pack an Emergency Go-Bag for Pets

    Favorite blankets and toys make a portable crate comfortable. Sasha routinely naps in hers!

    Communicate! Let family, friends, and co-workers know your plans. Social media can be a great tool to help you stay in contact. And have a back-up plan, to include alternate routes and destinations. And remember: cell towers and Internet providers may be impacted by disasters, so share that info ahead of time.

    From the AKC:

    Remember that you might not be home when disaster strikes. Plan for being away from your pets and/or being unable to get to them. Consider making arrangements with someone who can get to your dog when you can’t like a neighbor, dog walkerpet sitter, or local doggy daycare. And place a rescue alert sticker at your front door to let people know there are pets inside your house. Be sure it includes the types and number of pets you own as well as your veterinarian’s phone number. If you are able to take your pets with you during an evacuation, please write “Evacuated” across the sticker if time allows so rescue workers don’t waste precious time at your home.

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    Wherever you are, I hope you’ll take time today to review your own disaster preparation plans. Safety first!