Spring is here. The sun transformed my backyard swamp into hardened grass-covered clay. It’s a perfect place to train the puppies I raise for a service dog organization. So many smells and distractions.
But distractions have limits. And when a neighbor’s unleashed dog (we’ll call the dog Fluffy) continually charges into my unfenced backyard barking and growling, a training distraction turns into a nightmare, especially if I’m training a puppy with fear periods.
The owner, a very nice lady, eventually presents herself. She stands in the yard and yells the dog’s name, telling Fluffy to “Come here right now!” over and over and over. It grates on my nerves, and Fluffy totally blows her off. I would, too. Why? The owner is a nag. Her dog is giving her the paw.
Fluffy has no boundaries. And coming into my yard to retrieve barking Fluffy, picking her up and telling her “No!” doesn’t mean what the owner thinks it means. In Fluffy’s world, this is a game. I growl and bark, make the neighbor’s dogs back up, and MY OWNER COMES, picks me up, cuddles me and carries me home. What fun! (more…)
When I received an email from Mark Schuette, the inventor of the Dog Power Scooter, asking me to check out his invention and let him know what I thought, I expected to see the vehicle used by Norman – the Wonder Dog. NOT.
Introducing Urban Mushing – A Sport for You and Your High Drive Dog! Mark and his invention were even spotlighted on CNN!
Mark Schuette wanted to exercise and have fun with his dog. But bicycles with dog leash attachments concerned him. The dog could forge out in front of the bike. And what if the dog had a high prey drive and spotted something irresistible? There had to be a better and safer way to bike with your dog. So he invented the Dog Power Scooter, a safe way for you and your dog to have fun.
The Dog Power Scooter can be dog or human powered. The human has total control. There is a Scooter model for one, two, three or more dogs. There is also a Trike that holds up to two dogs. The Trike system is totally stable with powerful steering and braking. The Trike can accommodate certain disabilities. (more…)
Have you ever been in a restaurant or store and wondered, “That dog doesn’t look and/or act like a service dog? That’s somebody’s pet. Why are they allowed in here?”
Fake service dogs seem to be everywhere, including in strollers and shopping carts. But what is a service dog, a therapy dog or an emotional support animal? How can you tell the difference? And if I’m a business owner, what do I do?
Our friends at Orvis produced a handy infographic that will answer those questions at a glance. Thanks, Orvis!
And remember, not all disabilities are visual. There are hidden disabilities that make it difficult to identify if the dog is working or not. When in doubt, you may ask:
1) Is this a service dog required because of a disability?
2) What work or task has this dog been trained to perform?
Then observe the dog’s behavior. Service dogs should never misbehave, defecate in public, pull, tug, growl or bark. They should be silent and working, concentrating on their person and waiting for their next command. Therefore, do not bother a team while they are working. (more…)
Is anything free anymore? Canine Companions for Independence® makes sure that their service dogs are free to qualified applicants with physical disabilities other than blindness.
Canine Companions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.
Service dogs are expensive, estimated to cost approximately $50,000 to fund the breeding, training and on-going follow-up service after the dog is placed.
Then how can Canine Companions for Independence® give these dogs to people free of charge? Corporate sponsors and people from all over the country, folks like you who volunteer to spread awareness, care for litters, raise puppies and raise money do so willingly so that those who need service dogs can have them free of charge, without having to do any personal fundraising. That’s why I support this organization.
At 8 weeks of age, each puppy is raised by a puppy raiser. They are responsible for providing food, shelter and medical care. They love them, potty train them and teach them the 30 commands necessary so that when they are 18 months they can go to Advanced Training–what puppy raisers call “Puppy College.” There they train with professional trainers who take the 30 commands learned to the next level with the hope that they’ll graduate and be placed with their forever person. (more…)
I was sent a Tru-Fit Smart Harness for my dog in exchange for an honest review of the product. I have two golden retrievers and a lab golden cross. Two ride nicely in the hatch of my Jeep. One hates the car and is a spazzo. Her name is Skye. She panics, jumps from the hatch to the back seat and then uses her head to burrow behind the driver to hide. If the driver can’t restrain her, she’ll force her way over the console panting, drooling and then climbing into the front passenger seat. I was very excited to try this harness restraint. My life was in danger.
I tried it on Kimber first because she is solid and calm–although she doesn’t look calm here. Trust me, the sun was in her eyes.
Out of the box, the harness looks like it does above. The harness is very well made with durable material and solid hardware. Well done. The harness goes over the dog’s head and buckles on both sides under the dog. Do not expect to take the harness out of the box, throw it on, clip it to the seat belt and five minutes later go out for coffee or ice cream. It doesn’t work that way. You must have time to fit the harness to the dog. Once all straps are adjusted so that the dog is secure but still has circulation (two fingers underneath straps comfortably, please), then you can attach your dog to the seat belt and take off. (more…)
If you have dogs that like to spill their water bowl, then this easy DIY project is for you!
All you need is a round plastic garden hose container that you can find at a home improvement store that has an opening 14 inches or 14 1/2 inches in diameter.
Go to your local Tractor Supply Store (or other feed store) and look for the 10 quart extra large 14 1/2 inches in diameter stainless steel bowl with rim. Better yet, look for them both at the home improvement or feed store so you can make sure the bowl fits.
Shop around. Make sure whatever size hose container you select will fit the size stainless steel bowl you select.
The hose container has a hole on the bottom, so the water will drain if you spill the bowl while lifting it out to refresh it. My three retrievers love this bowl!
They cannot spill it. Add ice cubes for great summertime fun! (more…)
Our family has three retrievers and a horse. Our family has a lot of pet hair. That’s why I was so excited to try the CarPET Pet Hair Remover. This tool really works!
Sticky rollers are great to sweep across your clothing when you’re running out the door. But for the big jobs, you need the CarPET. Seriously…you know how many sticky sheets it would take you to clean the upholstery on your furniture? Or your carpet? Or your car where the dog likes to sit? With CarPET, you just rinse it and use it again and again. I used it on my bedroom carpet and was embarrassed by the results.
You know what a pain it is to haul out the vacuum to clean the carpeted staircase? And the vacuum head doesn’t get in the crevices that well. Instead, I grabbed the CarPET and it’s fantastic. It gathered wads of dog hair into nice little piles that I could easily pick up and throw away. It’s great for the car, too, especially on the seat where the dog sits. It works terrific on upholstered furniture, too, because the short rubber nubs don’t harm the fabric.
“All I Want for Christmas is a New Left Hip”…Kimber
No one raising a puppy or an adult dog wants to hear the words “hip dysplasia” let alone “severe bi-lateral hip dysplasia” coming out of the mouth of a veterinarian. However, when you’re raising a puppy to be a future service dog, those words also mean an immediate release from the program and the stark realization that the bundle of joy with the wagging tail that you’d hoped would aid the disabled, might soon experience pain and immobility herself unless a medical plan is put into place.
Meet Kimber, a golden retreiver-Labrador cross who at the time of the surgery was thirteen months old. This is Kimber’s journey from start to finish written in an effort to bring hope and calm the fears of those who might also receive the dreadful diagnosis. (Note that not all dogs with hip dysplasia need surgery. There is a range of hip dysplasia from mild to severe and some dogs live their entire lives mobile and relatively pain free. That would not be the case for Kimber.) (more…)
Laundry room. Mud room. Dog room. You can have them all in one easy place. Reposted from Houzz, this contractor remodeled the laundry room for a resident in Akron, Ohio whose two dogs brought in muddy paws from the creek on their property. Very well done, don’t you think?
Have you redone a room in your home to accommodate your dog? Let us know!