Dog Care the A-Z List

A – Agility is a great sport for high energy dogs.  It also creates a deeper bond between dog and owner.

B – Boarding options should be researched in advance to ensure your dog will be comfortable and will be well cared for when you have to be away from him.

C – Collars shouldn’t be tight or constricting.  Make sure you can easily slide two fingers under the collar.

D – Dog parks are a great way to allow your dog time to socialize with other dogs and expend some of their energy.  They are also a wonderful place for the owner to make new friends.

E – Emergency veterinarian clinics are available in many locations.  Research your area and find the one closest to you, so you know where to go in case of a medical emergency.

F – Food for dogs come in a wide variety of quality.  Reading the label will help you find food that has quality ingredients.  Try to stay away from brands that are made of corn and meat byproducts to keep your dog healthy and happy.

G – Grooming your dog can be great bonding opportunity.  Most dogs love to have their coats brushed.  However, bath time can be a bit tricky with a dog.  It is important to be patient, positive, provide warm water, and do your best to make your dog comfortable.

H – Heartworms are deadly parasites that live in the heart and they are transmitted by misquote bites.  Heartworm prevention can save your dog’s life.  Talk to your veterinarian if your dog is not already on a heartworm prevention medication.

I – Identification is important, in case your dog ever gets lost.  Putting tags on your dog’s collar and having them microchipped will increase the chances of your dog returning home.

J – Jumping is a common problem with dogs.  To teach a dog not to jump, ignore them whenever they try it.  I will turn away from the dog and not even look at them, until they become calm.

K – Kids love to pet dogs, but it is important to monitor them for the dog’s safety and the children’s safety.

L – Leashes come in a variety of styles.  Retractable leashes can be dangerous, because they break easily.  They can also get stuck, which makes it difficult to get your dog under control in a potentially dangerous situation.

M – Mothers and puppies should stay together for at least six to eight weeks.  The puppies need time to mature and be weened.  They also benefit by learning appropriate dog manners from their mother and their siblings.

N – Natural disasters happen all over the world.  It is important to have a plan for your dog in case of emergency situations.

O – Oral hygiene is often overlooked in dogs, but having an unhealthy mouth can cause other medical problems.  Dry food is better for the dog’s teeth.  It is also important to have their teeth regularly cleaned.

P – Paws are another area that tends to get overlooked.  Dogs need their nails trimmed to prevent foot pain and injury.  They also need the pads on their feet inspected for any cuts or abrasions that may need to be treated.

Q – Quite spaces to rest are important to dogs.  They like having a little personal space from time to time.  Teach children not to disturb the dog, when they are in their quite/personal resting space.

R – Rescue organizations are full of dogs of every size and breed.  Dogs get sent to these places for a number of reasons and it is often not the dog’s fault.  You can find a great dog by checking your local rescue organization.

S – Socialization is important for all dogs.  They need to know how to behave around other dogs and people.  When socializing your pet, try to introduce them to all kinds of people.

T – Training your dog can be fun and creates a deeper bond between you and your pet.  Training can be done at home or you can take your dog to a training school.  I enjoy the training schools, because we get to meet different people and practice training skills in a wide variety of settings.

U – Understanding your dog will improve your relationship with your dog.  Dogs use body language to communicate with us and other dogs.  You can easily learn what your dog is saying by reading books on dog body language or doing a little bit of online research.

V – Vaccinations help your dog stay healthy and live a longer life.  A lot of countries require dogs to be vaccinated for rabies, but there are other diseases that can be prevented through vaccinations (parvovirus, distemper, bordetella, and canine hepatitis).

W – Walking your dog can be a lot of fun for both you and the dog.  Dogs love to explore and sniff new areas.  They also love doing fun things with their owner.

X – Xerox copies of important documents (vaccination records, microchip information, and other medical documents) can be a life saver in emergency situations.

Y – Yacking or spitting up stuff is a common problem.  Dogs will vomit much easier and more often than humans.  When a mother dog is trying to ween her puppies, she will eat food and then regurgitate it back out for the puppies.  This allows the puppies to go from milk to soft foods and eventually to eating regular food.  That’s why dogs are more prone to vomiting.  However, it can also be a sign that your dog needs medical attention.

Z – Zest and a zeal for life is common among dogs.  They tend to appreciate the mundane things of life and bring joy to those around them.

Carbon Monoxide Drama Day

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I was at the doctor’s office with Mom this afternoon.  Gwen called to say the smoke/carbon monoxide detector went off and it said to evacuate the house.  I told Gwen to get all the dogs and go outside immediately.

I told Mom what was happening at the house.  She agreed that I should go and check on the situation.  I said I would come back as soon as I could.

I rushed home and called 911 to report the issue.  The fire department came to the house with a carbon monoxide detector.  They walked through the entire place and they checked all the gas lines.  They also inspected the detector.

The good news, there was no carbon monoxide detected in the house.  The problem was caused by a faulty detector, so we will be going to store to buy a new one.

After they finished, I went back to the doctor’s office to get Mom.  On the way home, we stoped by LawLer’s BBQ to get stuffed potatoes for dinner.  They were delicious.

I think I am going to go to bed early tonight, because that’s enough drama for me today.

The Fire of 1987

In 1987, on Halloween, our house was destroyed by a fire.

I was 14 years old at the time.  My brother and I spent the day, just like every other day.  We goofed around and played games.  We talked about what we were going to do that night.  It was Halloween, so we had plans for some fun activities.

We just moved into the house a week prior and nobody knew about the electrical problems in the attic.  That afternoon, two hot wires touched and set off a spark.  That spark turned into a fire.  Since there were no smoke detectors in the attic, the fire went unnoticed by me and my family.

The neighbor saw smoke and flames coming from the roof, so he ran over to our house and was frantically banging on the door.  He was yelling for us to get out of the house, because it was on fire.

All of us ran out as quickly as possible.  The fire department was called and they responded in a matter of minutes.  My brother and I sat in the front yard and watched as the firefighters battled the blaze.

I remember feeling like it was a dream.  I wasn’t upset about the situation at that time, so I guess I was just in a state of shock.

The fire destroyed most of the house.  The roof over the living room and dining room area had caved in and there was a good bit of water damage to areas that were still standing.

We stayed with relatives for a few days and then moved into a rental house.  Luckily, my parents had purchased homeowners insurance, so the house was rebuilt and a couple months later we were able to move back into our home.

I always think about that fire on Halloween.  I think about how lucky we were, since nobody was hurt.  I think about how it felt to watch our home being destroyed by a fire and not being able to do anything about it.  I think about the firefighters that battled the blaze.   I think about the people that helped us salvage some of our belongings, allowed us to use their garage to store those items, gave us a place to sleep until we could move into the retail home, and even cooked a meal for us to eat that night.

A lot of people helped us during that time.  Some of them were friends and family, but some of those people were strangers.  I appreciate what everyone did for us.  It meant a lot to me and my family.

Joey – Self Inflected Injuries

Joey had a habit of injuring himself, while he was goofing around or playing.

One evening, Joey was running around the yard.  However, he was looking to his left and not in the direction he was running.  He ended up running into a tree with a low hanging branch.  He had cuts on his eyebrow and eyelid.  He also had scratches on his cornea.

Joey came running back to me with blood pouring form his face.  I immediately took Joey to the emergency veterinarian clinic, since this did not happen during regular business hours.

The doctors cleaned his face and removed bark from his eye.  I was given prescription eye drops to put in Joey’s eye three times a day to prevent infection.

Joey was not happy about those eye drops.  I had to put Joey in a head lock, pry open his eye, and then squirt the drops on his face.  He was bucking like some kind of wild horse, so I just kept squirting and hopped some of the medication actually made it into his eye.

His eye healed nicely and he didn’t lose his vision, so I guess it worked.

The second self-inflicted injury happened while we were at a training class.  We were in a large room with metal support poles running along the center of the room.

We arrived early, so Joey decided to spend his time playing.  He was jumping and spinning around in circles.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings and banged his head into one of the poles.

It made a loud bonging noise and Joey was staggering as he walked away.  My goofy dog ended up with a concussion and we were back at the veterinarian’s office.

I tried to convince the doctor to put Joey on a sedative to help him calm down, for his own protection.  The veterinarian refused my request.  She said Joey is a high spirited dog, but he is tough enough to withstand his own silliness.

I was a bit disappointed, I was really hoping for some sedatives to slow this wild dog down a bit.  His destructive habits and self-injuries behavior had blown a massive hole in my budget.

 

Snow Emergency

There is a snow emergency in Huntsville, Alabama.  We have actual snow on the ground, so everything is closed and people are rushing to buy emergency supplies at the store.

There is one thing I don’t understand.  Why does everyone stock up on bread, milk,  and eggs?  If we do end up losing power and have to spend the next few days at home, I would rather have chips, cookies, soda, and other fun things to eat.

That’s my opinion on the matter….