Archive for August, 2010

Golden Retriever Puppy in Life Jacket

Dontcha just love a girl in uniform?

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Finally, after two long weeks, Honey is off strict rest orders from the vet. Now I’m back to regular methods of tiring her out: food dispensing toys, long walks, play dates with other dogs, and, of course, kayaking.

I wanted to be especially certain to get another kayak trip in during the the waning days of summer. Just to make sure she didn’t forget how much fun it is during the long Finger Lakes winter. What do you think, is she having a good time?

Golden Retriever Puppy in a Kayak

Sure, I'll go kayaking. Just don't expect me to paddle.

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For the first time, the USBCHA (United States Border Collie Handler’s Association) National Sheepdog Finals will be streamed live on the internet. Way cool, huh?

Although the finals aren’t until September 25 and 26, I’d love to see the word get out far and wide to dog lovers. You can even publicize the web stream by displaying a poster.

Here’s a little preview to get you pumped up:

I believe that the happiest dogs are those who are well-loved and have a job to do. That could make some of these border collies the happiest dogs ever!

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Golden Retriever Puppy in Car

I hate commuting. Don't you?

Bag of dog toys

Honey packed her briefcase with all the work she had brought home from the office.

Golden Retriever Puppy Chewing a Bone

Chew a bone. Ok, I can strike that off my "to do" list.

Golden Retriever Puppy in a Crate

Sometimes I feel trapped in my career.

Golden Retriever Puppy in Back of Car.

Y'know? The commute home doesn't seem so bad.

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Golden Retriever Puppy and Toy Duck

There! I bet you won't quack at me next time!

While Honey’s recovering from surgery, she’s not allowed to go for walks or play. Which means she has lots of spare energy to work off.

I’ve tried some training to tire her out. And we’ve played some light games of tug. But I really thought she could use some new toys.

So off I go to the pet supply to find just the right thing. Of course, most of the toys are made to attract people. I wonder if Honey would have picked out this toy on her own? And if she thinks it has any resemblance to those swimming creatures in the lake that always catch her attention?

I guess it doesn’t matter. Honey loved the duck. But she also liked the blue, stuffed dinosaur. And the Nylabone. And the cardboard tag attached to the Nylabone. I guess puppies aren’t fussy.

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People come up with all kinds of creative names for their dogs. Some are just expressing their creativity. Others want a name that describes their dog. And some people look for a name that will work for training. Is it easy to say? Is it unique from other words commonly used? Is it easy to call over a long distance?

But come on. How many of us really use those names all the time? Aren’t they often shortened? Or lengthened? Or put into little songs?

I’ve started making a list of the names I call Honey throughout the day. Here’s just a sampling:

  • Cutie Patootie
  • Hunny Bunny

    Golden Retriever Puppy

    Call me what you like. Just don't call me late for dinner.

  • Sugar Pie
  • Fluffy
  • Fuzzy
  • Love Lump
  • Lil Evil Dog
  • Scooter Pie
  • Joobie Joo
  • Play Boo
  • Booder Pup
  • Pooder Dog

And, when we don’t want Honey to know we’re talking about her:

  • H-Boo

I can’t be the only one. What did you name your dog? And what do you really call him?

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I don’t have a television (insert gasp here!). TV-free is pretty common where I live but I find it’s shocking to people who live outside my little community.

That doesn’t mean I don’t try to find an occasional entertainment fix, especially one that features puppies (and I don’t care how old they are; they’re all puppies).

I love the mini episodes of Puppy Love available on Hulu.com. Puppy Love was created by Amy B. Harris, one of the writers for Sex and the City.

My favorite episodes are “Upstaged” where a man adopts a dog to meet women and “The Rents” where a woman’s tensions with her parents are played out with the dog. Funny stuff!

Oh, and some of the dog actors belong to the actors or crew. Stay all the way to the end to hear the actors talk about their own dogs as well.

If you hate talky, self-involved people walking around beautiful neighborhoods in NYC with their dogs, don’t bother. For everyone else, check it out here.

Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping with a Book under Her Paw

Who needs television? I prefer a little light reading before bed.

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  1. Stock up on ear plugs. When you can’t play, run, or go for walks barking becomes major entertainment.
  2. Practice verbally abusing your puppy in baby talk. Repeat after me in a high, squeaky voice: “You little evil puppy, you. You’re the spawn of Satan, oh yes you are!”

    Golden Retriever Puppy

    Spawn of Satan? Moi?

  3. Learn how to trip over a baby gate while balancing a basket of laundry. You really want to make sure you have this one down. You’ll be doing it a lot.
  4. Get your grooming tools out. A dog that’s been shaved for surgery will have a lot less fur to brush. Enjoy it while it lasts!
  5. When you carry your dog down the stairs, don’t bonk her head on the door jambs. It’s amazing how hard your dog will be to catch once you do that a few times.

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Hopefully most of you will never have to nurse your dog through a major accident, illness, or surgery. But if it does happen, here are some ways to ensure you (and your dog) survive the experience.

  1. Learn to lift your dog so he feels safe and you don’t hurt yourself. You may have to carry your dog up and down stairs for the time of his recovery. If your dog is too large to lift, you may need to make alternate sleeping and potty arrangements.
  2. Buy new, safe toys that are fresh to the dog and will allow her to burn off excess energy. Safe toys include the Kong and Nylabones.

    Golden Retriever puppy and toys.

    Yeah, I know I have lots of toys. But I really want to look for cat poop in the garden.

  3. Train your dog instead of exercising him. Simple tricks like targeting, go to bed, and stay won’t stress the body but definitely works the mind–sometimes an even more tiring prospect.
  4. If possible, share shifts of caregiving a partner or friend. I’m off work this week but when my husband gets home, he takes over all puppy duties–carrying her out to the yard, feeding, and being vigilant that she has absolutely no fun. Without him, I’d go crazy.
  5. Rely on aids to prevent chewing or picking, if necessary. The Elizabethan collar never fails but most dogs hate it and it may be overkill if your dog isn’t harming himself. Can you do the same thing by tying a sweatshirt on your dog or using a bandage? Always ask your vet’s advice first.
  6. Just because your dog is in recovery doesn’t mean she should be spoiled. If you don’t allow barking or whining for attention when your dog is well, make sure you don’t allow it when she’s convalescing or you’ll have a new behavior problem that will long outlast the rehabilitation.
  7. However, do try to pay attention to your dog’s needs. Remember, he’s being denied all he most enjoys (jumping on furniture, eating junk food, chasing squirrels). Try to put yourself in your dog’s paws and anticipate what he’ll need to make this time of enforced rest more bearable.
  8. Groom your dog. Some dogs love the attention. Why not take advantage of this quiet time?
  9. Try pet massage. Massage can stimulate circulation and be very relaxing. Once again, ask your vet before you start to be sure massage will benefit your dog.
  10. Find a project to keep you in one place for a long time so you dog doesn’t have to keep waking up to find you. I decided to make sundried tomatoes on the dashboard of my car (if you want to know how it turned out, drop me a comment). Honey was perfectly content to sleep at my feet while I sliced and de-seeded dozens of tomatoes.

Now, if your dog had too busy a day hiking or is recovering from spay surgery, you’ll be prepared for convalescence (no, you won’t; but maybe this will help a bit).

Golden Retriever Puppy

If I can't run, how do you expect me to escape this gigantic pumpkin plant if it grows any faster?

Off to play (slow & easy) crate games with Honey.

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Golden Retriever Puppy on a Pillow.

I know I'm supposed to rest but I don't see why dogs can't play video games. Or read comic books. Or watch movies. It's so unfair!

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