And so it goes

We are in one of our favorite places to visit, our friends cabin in Dahlonega Georgia.  I wrote about our adventures last year when we were here and had wondered if that would have been our last time to visit.  Our friend had the place for sale and good for us/bad for her she hasn’t sold it, yet.

It’s a quaint old log cabin that looks out over the Blue Ridge Mountain.  Peaceful, serene, secluded.  The perfect place to relax, rewind and rejuvenate.

Of course the dogs love it.  Acres of land to run, hikes, cool weather and thanks to global warming we are still able to enjoy the leaves changing so late in the season.

Continue reading “And so it goes”

Stormy Weather, again….

Looks like a tropical storm is headed our way.  Doesn’t seem like it will be much more than a rain maker but they are also calling for lot’s of thunder storms.  This of course will become an issue for many of the pets in our lives.  So the time to prepare is now.

Wet Dog
Rainy Day Dog

If you are using a Thundershirt, you need to start using it before the storms are around.  The reason being if you only put the shirt on your dog when a storm is coming they will anticipate a storm and start to get anxious when you put the shirt on them.  If you put the shirt on and off during calm times when there are no storms they will lose that association.

Give your pet a safe place to go.  Dogs love to have a “den”, a covered or enclosed area where they can go and feel safe.  This could be anything from a crate covered with a towel or blanket, a closet or small room with no windows, I even know a few dogs who like to get in a bathtub during a storm.  Louie G always loves to get in my closet, small, cozy and it smells like me.

Diffusing essential oils to help calm your pet stay calm is my favorite.  I am a big fan of Calm A Mile.  Calm A Mile is a blend of several oils that offer your pet a calm and grounding experience. This is a veterinarian grade essential oils created by Dr Melissa Shelton an Integrative Veterinarian.  Louie G, my standard poodle, is horribly frightened of thunderstorms and

IMG_0008
Rainy Day Dog

fireworks.  If I start diffusing the oil prior to the onset of the commotion, we can win the battle.  You can find this oil and others online at AnimalEO we also keep a small supply of these oils on hand if you are interested in trying them.

We also use Bach Flower Remedies, specifically Rescue Remedy.  Flower remedies are a homeopathic remedy that can be used alone or with other types of treatment.  Rescue Remedy is now made in an animal formula which does not contain any alcohol which some people prefer for their pets.  Typically only a few drops are needed to acheive the desired results.

We have also tried some natural types of calming chews that have had varing degrees of effectivness.  I would definitly check with your vet before choosing one.

Other things to remember during a thunderstorm is that your pet may be affected by all the static electricity in the air.  You can help to cut down on this by rubbing a drier sheet on your pet.  Also remember that your dogs hearing is far greater than ours so if the rain or hail is pounding down on the roof or pavement, they may become fearful.

My best advise is to find the thing that will work best for your pet and use it before the animal is in a frantic state.  Once they have escalated to being terrified it will be near to impossible to calm them down.

I may love a rainy day but I sure do hate a thunderstorm kind of day, I just hate to see Louie G suffer.  So let’s do our best to keep them calm and happy.

Natural Pets

I have had an interest in natural and holistic care for my pets for many years.  Around 2000, I started by going to talks and seminars on holistic pet care, searching the internet and doing a lot of reading and experimentation.  My lucky dogs got to be the guinea pigs.

One of the first decisions I made was to discontinue semi-annual and annual  vaccinations (except for rabies as it is required by law) I made this decision after attending a seminar by a holistic vet.  Some of the points she made stuck with me; Continue reading “Natural Pets”

Z Grille

The weather here in St Pete has finally cooled down enough that we are able to leave the doors open to balcony and let some of the delicious cool air into the condo.  Louie G has made the transition from backyard guardian to balcony gargoyle.  She likes to sit out side and keep an eye on what goes on across in the other buildings and who goes by on the street.  Always alert to a dog being walked or howling along with the fire trucks going past.

Being that it is such a beautiful day we decided to leave the balcony door open and have lunch at one of our favorite places, Z Grille, which also happens to be right across the street from our condo.  The perks of living downtown, or maybe not.  Rob and I find a table, sit down and start talking.  Uh, oh.  What if the dogs hear us? Are they going to start barking?  No sooner had the thought crossed my mind and sure enough, we hear the dogs barking.  Can’t see them, just hear them.  And believe me, you can recognize a dogs voice, it is definitely our dogs.

Let’s be quiet and see what happens.  Still barking.  Sitting at the table trying to telepathically get them to be quiet.  No such luck.  Finally I just give a holler, Quiet up there!  Sure enough, they got quiet and we could have a peaceful lunch.  Good dog.

Calling All Dogs
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Love in the Elevator

Well, maybe not.  The things that you need to learn to deal with when you move into a condo.  Elevator etiquette or lack of.

We have been teaching Louie G and Walter some rules when riding the elevator.  They have to sit the entire ride and there is no standing at the door no matter which side we are on.  We have had several instances when the door open a dog is charging either off or on, so we make our guys stand back so we don’t go into an instant dog fight.

My dogs have two very different responses to a charging dog.  Walter will go into fight mode (although he couldn’t win a fight with a paper bag).  Louie G goes into flee mode.  Run away, run away.

So last night we are going down in the elevator, the door opens and two labs are charging the door.  One yellow lab (who I know is friendly), one black lab (who I know is a biter.)  Yellow lab breaks free and charges into the elevator.  OMG!  Walter hackles up, snarling which makes the nice lab respond in like.  The owner can do nothing as he has the biter.  OMG!  Elevator door closes.  OMG!  Louie G is trying to run away.  OMG!

Fortunately, I talked calmly to everyone and the situation calmed along with the talk.  Now the elevator door opens and lucky the other owner was able to get the biter on the other side of a door and we were able to leave without further incident.  Heavy sigh.

Most people blow it off by saying “oh my dog is friendly'”.  Guess what folks, when your dog is charging at my dog, my dog is not going to be friendly.   When entering a door with a dog and you are not sure what is on the other side.  Stand back.