Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Then Schmuck-o comes to claim her. At first he seemed nice, until I told him I needed $47 for the town impound fee and boarding..... $47. You would have thought I said $470! I then needed him to fill out a 10 day temporary license. ...oh the drama! Cranky-pants couldn't be bothered and slammed the pen down. I kept a smile...'kill em with kindness' I told myself The meaner he got..the nicer I became. I retrieved the old girl and walked her out to the lobby, on a leash, and handed her over.
With a grunt, he dramatically unclipped the leash, and snapped at her to 'come here' and walked her out the door. 'Have a happy New Year'..I called out as he left. I watch him climb into his brand new Pssat and zip away. I am still shaking my head in disbelief. Dogs I get..people? A mystery.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I have always done the NILFF stuff...but now we are on overdrive. I am asking for downs for everything. Want to eat?...Lie down. What to tug?...Lie down. Want to go out?...Lie down. He is still giving me the heavy sighs (the dog version of an eye roll), but he IS lying down quicker!
Today we worked on his leash manners. No more jumping on and play-biting Gimli or his leash during our twice a day walks. We went to our favorite park, and a normal walk that would take us 40 minutes took about an hour and a half. Liam and Gimli strolled off leash enjoying the smells of the trail, while Mr. Brees and I did 'crazy person' walking, circles, backing up and of course....downs! I brought some mid value treats, a smile and my 'puppy' voice to keep him engaged and the mood fun.
I am glad we have entered this new place in our relationship as I feel I can now ask more from him and am not worried about 'crushing' his young spirit. He is definitely no wall flower! This also puts me right into the place where most people enter a family dog class, so its a good reminder of what its like to raise a teen age dog. Ruff love baby...learn it, live it and love it!!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I recently found a terrific teacher and we jumped back into classes in October. I love the classes and the material. Its fun, positive and the instructor has us work on different things each week. However, I am not 'feeling the love' for the sport.
So last night I had my friend Jill handle Gim and he just blossomed! So I am considering letting her handle him in the competition ring. I have faith in my dog that he can do it, but I don't have faith in myself that I wont screw him up. I get too fidgety and nervous.
We are having a show and go next month and Jill is going to take him on to see how he works with her. I hope to capture it all on tape!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Bill and I have found Brees to be the easiest puppy in memory. This past spring we fostered 3 -6 week old littermates who came to the shelter too young and very ill. One of the pups didn't make it, but the other 2 flourished. We split the 2 boys up at 8 weeks and We kept 'Owen' until he was 12 weeks. Owen was a good test puppy for our patience. He was a wild child, who lived on a tether or in a crate& his bite inhibition training was on-going. My dogs tired of Owen and I think they were happy to see him go.
Brees has been nothing but a dream. He is a 'go with the flow' guy who accepted his x-pen, crate and routine from day 1. We started baby 'training' on day 2 and he has been an eager student since. He is a great traveler, playmate and companion. I cant thank Holly and Leonard with Visions Cardigans enough for the wonderful puppy they provided.
Tomorrow we are celebrating his 'birthday' by attending a photo-shoot for the upcoming Fetch-Dog catalog. Depending on how it goes, he may have a part time career as a catalog model! Stay tuned!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Brees has a very busy week...besides his Monday class, he is attending Gimlis Thursday comp ob class with me to watch crate-side. I want to get him used to watching me work the other dogs while staying settled. Then back to herding ducks on Saturday!
I also found out that the Fetch-Dog catalog company wants Liam to attend a photo shoot in December and is a candidate for their next catalog. I am pretty excited for my old guy! Even if he doesn't make the cut, the shoot will be fun, and a good experience for the both of us.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The problem with most daycares is that they open with the best intentions, but usually take in more dogs then what is safe, don't create playgroups based on play style, age and size, don't educate their staff on canine behavior and don't give the dogs enough breaks through out the day.
Daycares should ALWAYS do a temperament test on every dog who is considered. A test is only as good as the person who is giving it, so ask questions of the experience of the person (s) giving the test. Daycare should be a place where your dog is safe. Look for a daycare that has a ratio of 1 human attendant per every 6 dogs . Playgroups should never exceed more than12 dogs and should be based on age, size and play-style.
Dogs shouldn't be allowed to play for more than 45 minutes without a break. Breaks should be given in a quiet room preferably with crates.
In a well run daycare, the playroom would be lined with crates where dogs can get mini 'time outs' during play bouts. These time outs are great at keeping the arousal levels low and minimize dogs getting over tired and cranky.
Obedience training should not be ignored. Pulling on leash and door darting are common problems with a lot of dogs that attend a poorly run daycare. The staff should be in partnership with you to help curb these behaviors.
If you or someone you know is considering taking your dog to a dog daycare, here are some things to think about
- Visit the daycare without your dog during their 'pick up' time. Is the lobby chaotic? Are the attendants bringing the dogs to their owners in a calm controlled manner?
- Does the building have a odor? What is their disease management? What vaccines to they require?
- What is their protocol if a dog comes down with kennel cough or tests positive for giardia (an internal parasite)
- Does each dog go through a temperament test? What does the test involved and do you get to watch
- Are there breeds they don't allow?
- How many employees do they have and what is their training? Do they know first aide?
- How many attendants manage a playgroup ?
- What is their employee turnover rate? (an ill run daycare will have a high rate of turnover)
- What is the protocol if a dog gets bit? Is the biting dog excused from daycare? (may seem like a strange question, but I know a lot of dogs who have a bite history who have been allowed to stay in daycare)
- Have they ever excused a dog and what were the circumstances?
- Is there a vet clinic close by?
- Do they allow toys? Snacks? why or why not?
This is just a short list. I suggest anyone considering a facility that they visit a few times and interview them prior to bringing their dog and ask for at least 5 references. If you are able to do so, watch the dogs playing. Are the attendants paying attention to the dogs or are they texting or talking on their cell phones?
Dog fights certainly do happen in daycare, and its a risk that a dog owner should know before they take their dog. However, a well run daycare will have policies and procedures in place to minimize this from happening.
One last note. I believe that if one chooses to bring their dog to a facility they should only attend once, maybe twice, a week. Although a dog may come home tired, daycare is not a substitute for training and can minimize the human relationship. If your dog has separation anxiety, then daycare can help in between training, but is not a substitute FOR training. Daycare should never be a 'lifestyle' for any dog. PS...100 dogs is too friggin many!! There is NO WAY this many dogs can taken care of properly in a daycare setting! ok..rant off...
Friday, November 5, 2010
The adrenaline rush was extreme and I left work exhausted. It was the second time in a week I faced a line of snarling canine teeth. The first was a JRT who decided my upper legs were fun to hang off. Thank god for jeans...I only escaped with bruising, where my co worker in scrubs suffered a worse bite on her calf. Neither of these dogs are currently on the adoption floor.
My only salvation was my herding fun day with Brees. I made a promise to myself that I would only take the kennel manager position as long as I remember the joy of my own dogs. Compassion fatigue is a huge problem among shelter/rescue work, and I refuse to be consumed by the tragedies of the job. Its not all bad, but it is all exhausting. Its dirty, loud, physical and emotional.
Wednesday I spent the day in company of a peaceful sheep farm with my funny little puppy and a good friend. It gave me a glimpse in what I hope I will have someday.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Next week Brees and I are going up to Appleton ME to see Suzanne White, the herding instructor, and a flock of ducks (pictures to come!)
The following week he starts puppy kindergarten with my good friend/trainer Liz Langham ( I believe that even trainers should take their puppy's through a puppy class!). Once my classes end in December, I plan on taking a 6 week break from teaching. For now, as long as there is coffee flowing, I am good!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I continued to teach and she continued to shop. There was no drama and I sighed with relief. The class ended, I passed out homework and went to help a student pick out a harness for her poodle.
Then I heard what made me cringe. A set of deep growls and yelling. Shit. I ran across the huge store to the counter and by the time I got there it was over.
One of my students (with a wonderful aussie puppy) was paying for her treats, when Dummy's boyfriend brought one of the pit bulls up to the puppy where it tried to pin the puppy up against the counter snarling then Dummy herself DROPPED the leash of the second pit and it ran up to puppy to get into the mix while my student used her leg to block both dogs from her pup yelling for them to get their dogs. Dummy just STOOD there and didn't even try to recover her dog....aarrgghh! The staff where all circling and the situation was quickly diffused and the Dummy couple left.
The aussie puppy was fine ( luckily, he lives with terriers and can blow stuff off easily). Its people like this who give bully breeds a bad name. Whats scary is that she is clueless (or maybe just doesn't care) at her lack of dog skills. Its only a matter of time before her dogs do serious damage.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
At the shelter, once the dogs are walked, fed and the cleaning is done, the staff works on enrichment. This is a dream come true for me! This week I did noseworks with a happy-go- lucky pit mix who decided that destroying the cardboard box was too much fun. I also made various Kong's and placed food in empty cereal boxes using all kinds of ingredients.
Now I have been introduced to you tube videos of what other shelters are doing for enrichment and I am hooked! Here is the latest video, and one of the volunteers is picking up the supplies so we can add this extra fun for the dogs.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I also had 4 classes to teach this week, prepare for a dog walking class and a new volunteer orientation at the shelter AND I have 2 new classes starting tomorrow.
I was hoping to take time in Sept to trial with Liam and that plan went right out the window. The new plan is to work as much as possible in Sept and some time off in October for puppy. Gimli and I are starting our Comp Ob classes next month, so we will see where that takes me :) .
With this new change in schedule, I am going to have to cut back on my teaching gigs to possible 2 locations instead of 4 just so that I can have some face time with the hubby! I am happy to be busy, but when it rains it pours!!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
My previous turning cues were ' jump in front of the dog and toss'...but I can see by watching other handlers that the opposite hand turning cue make so much more sense and just look better. I also have what my agility instructor calls 'verbal diarrhea'. I talk too much on the course. Especially when I think its a particularly difficult course for me to handle, and I am not confident. I start running my mouth with lots of 'Here' Go' ' Jump'..blah..blah...blah...
Today, Cindy challenged us to run a course using no arms and no verbal cues except, 'gooood dog','tunnel' (since the tunnels were tucked under the A frame and dog walk), and 'weave'. Did I mention that we couldn't use our arms? 'No Ninja Chops' she said to me...yikes! I walked the course with storm clouds overhead. 'No way will he respond' I thought I wasn't the only one..the whole class was doubtful that their dog could run the course with only forward movement and shoulder pulls.
Well...I kept my arms to myself, and my mouth shut. And guess what? Liam did great! In fact, it was our best run this week. I kept moving and the less I said the more I focused on my body and feet, and the more I felt that I was communicating. Liam had his tail wagging and was MOVING!
Something else I found was that not talking to him so much, slowed my head down so that I could enjoy working with him instead of nagging. Liam is big, smart and obviously knows the sport. It makes me gleeful to work in such a close partnership with him and I love that he is so forgiving on the agility course!
Monday, August 16, 2010
I had 2 therapy dog visits scheduled today. One at Florence house (which is part of the homeless shelter designated for women only) and the hospital. I arrived to Florence house expecting the usual warm welcome. My dogs LOVE going there! It was complete opposite of what I expected...the woman were grumpy and completely uninterested in the dogs, so we left after 5 minutes. The dogs seemed a little confused about why their usual friends not were wanting to pat and coo over them. So I took them to one of our favorite fields for a romp. Which wasn't really a romp, just a soggy walk. I forgot my rain jacket (I wasn't planning for a hike), so I came home wet.
I cancelled our second therapy appointment as I just didn't have it in me to be social. We are going to agility class tonight and I am hoping that running a course will make me snap out of this!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Today I made a visit to my former employer, dropping off something for a friend who still works there. For a year and a half, between dog training gigs, I worked a corporate job. I had my own cube, phone, extension and name plate. Steady hours, insurance and paid vacations. I left back in January to jump into the world of non-profit work, dog training and (sometimes) eating ramin for dinner. I wouldn't go back for anything. Although I had a lot of corporate perks, there were more negatives than positives. Like the wacky schedule that didn't allow for me to attend agility classes and forget trialing. I couldn't do therapy dog visits, and the only time I saw any of my dog friends was when they posted their brags on facebook. I spent idle time in my cube writing 'corporate haiku's' and always felt out of place.
Here is a couple of my haiku's..anyone who works in the cube village may understand these cries for help!
ALONE IN MY CUBE
M&M'S FILL VOID
CUSTOMER SERVICE HAIKU:
CHATTER IN MY EAR
SURROUNDED BY SHADES OF GRAY
CUSP OF THE WEEKEND
MOCKED BY BILL GATES COLD TIME PIECE
THWARTING MY ESCAPE
Seeing a few of my old co workers reminded me that I made the right choice by leaving. I make it a rule to never say never...but I hope the universe continues to be kind so I can do what I love.
I gave her a bath and blow dry and then took her back to her kennel. It just about broke my heart. She has a A LOT of fans in the shelter staff and if she doesnt get adopted today, I will bring her home tonight. I wonder if this back and forth thing to the shelter is doing more harm than good. Its been proven that people dont want to' make an appointment' to see a foster dog, but want to meet the dog when they walk in. Cant say as I blame them. I will keep my fingers crossed that today will be her day.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
After the class ended the family decided to have me do in home lessons instead. So fast forward a few weeks the puppy is now about 10 weeks old. The boy is still obsessively hugging. But now the puppy is starting to snap at his face. The parent ask me to 'parent' him on not hugging the dog...what?? 10 years ago I would have shook my head and walked away. But after having numerous nieces and nephews drift into my dog life, I am more comfortable talking to young kids about dog safety. However, I always had parents who were there to back up my words. These parents were clueless. Typical overworked people who needed a Golden Retriever to complete the idyllic picture-esque life in their upper class zip code, with no idea that Golden's are dogs and have the ability to bite just like any other dog. The puppy will never be allowed in any other room than the kitchen, and will be ignored in its beautifully manicured yard surrounded by an invisible fence. They cancelled the second visit as they were going out of town for 4 weeks and will contact me once they return. I cringe the day I get that call, but as numb as these people are, they are the ones who need the most help.
According to the CDC the rate of dog bite–related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites. So Parents... please train your kids to respect dogs and to be dog savvy! I don't want to see this (or any) dog come to the shelter for biting when it was the people who set the dog up to fail from the get-go.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
My kitchen is far from fancy and I don't have anything high end. But I do have a love for cookbooks. I read cookbooks like some people study for exams. Completely focused and I tune everything out.
Today was a great day of food. Bill and I went to the Greek Festival in Saco and snacked on gyros and loukoumades, which considering all the food they had, was pretty mild for us. We are trying hard to be frugal these days and festival food can deplete a wallet pretty quickly.
We left the festival and went to one of our favorite places, Borders bookstore and I went to visit my porn section...the cookbooks. I found one that almost had an angelic glow surrounding it. It was called My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh. We visited New Orleans this past spring, and I cant wait to get back. Its food lovers mecca.
I opened the book and landed on a simple recipe for a crawfish boil. Similar to a lobster bake...but the mud bugs, corn, potatoes, garlic, sausage and spices are all boiled together and then dumped on table covered with newspaper where your guests pick out what they want. I went to a shrimp boil once and it was pretty much the same, and pretty fantastic. I took the 5 lb book and sat among other store patrons and found myself making low ...mmmm...ohhhh...ahhh. sounds. At least I didn't drool, that would have been weird.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Winter will be here soon enough and we will all be complaining about why we live in a place where the thermometer dangles around the freezing mark for 3 months. So instead of bellyaching about the heat, embrace Maines inner 'down south'. Sit on your porch in a big floppy sun hat, eat key lime pie and sip a tall glass of sweet tea.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
My husband and I just got back from spending 2 glorious days on Damarscottia lake in Newcastle Maine. My good friend let us use her family cottage on 40 acres of woods with a 1 mile driveway and a private cove. At first, I was a little torn about going as this past weekend was 1 of the 2 big dog shows of the year in Maine. However, after watching the dogs swim, romp and enjoy giant raw knuckle bones that I reserve for such an occasion ( at home, Gimli tends to bury bones in the yard and then worries about them for days), I knew we made the right decision. We read... a lot, napped in the sun and picked newly ripened blueberries. At night we lit a small bonfire, watched bats flutter and listened to the haunting sounds of loons. The cottage is somewhat rustic with no electricity or running water,so we grilled every night and ate by candlelight. Here is a picture of me and Finn, one of my dog friends, sitting lakeside.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Fast forward 30+ years...my plasma TV filled with over 200 channels, plus 6 different HBO's and a DVR to make sure I didn't miss a second of it. What happened? How did I get to this place of being completely addicted? Is the outside world so unbearable that reality TV has replaced reality of living? How can that be?
So, just as I did when I quit smoking over 10 years ago, I have quit TV. Cold Turkey. OK...so I still have Netflix and Hulu...I dont plan on being a purist. My brain just needs an entertainment detox and admitting that one has a problem is the first step in conquering it.
So I returned my DVR to the cable company, came home and looked at the dark screen staring back at me. Its like the end of the Stephen King movie Christine. Once they kill her, she is no longer a jealous, insane she-devil, but an old crappy car in a junk yard. My TV no longer has any power over me. At least that the mantra I will be telling myself during this self intervention.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
DON'T YOU DARE STEAL MY JOY
by Connie Cleveland
On the occasion of my tenth anniversary, my husband asked me how I wanted to celebrate. I asked that we take a very dear friend, my adopted grandmother and one of the greatest of all the great southern ladies, out to dinner with us.
At dinner, my husband, Brian, presented me with a diamond ring. It was gorgeous and I was speechless, but even as I thanked him, I worried about the expense and extravagance of such a gift. As if he knew that the next line belonged to my grandmother, my husband excused himself from the table. He was barely out of sight when she reached across the table and grabbed me by the shoulder, "I know what you're thinking, I know you think he couldn't afford it and it's too extravagant. I don't care if he had to put a second mortgage on the house to buy it, don't you steal his joy! It's beautiful. Accept it as the token of his love that it is and say nothing about how he shouldn't have bought it for you." Then she repeated, "Don't you dare steal his joy!"
That was the end of the conversation. She sat back in her seat, smiled at my returning husband, and we had a lovely dinner. I took her advice and put my reservations out of my mind. The ring has never come off my finger, but most importantly, I learned a wonderfully important lesson, never to steal another man's joy.
Are you a joy stealer?
"You know if my dog hadn't gone down on the sit, I would have won the class", said, unfeelingly, to the winner.
"I sure didn't think your dog worked that high a score."
"I can't believe you placed, I thought Jane Oneup and her dog would beat you."
"I thought I had that class won! My dog had a great performance," said to the winner.
"Isn't that judge an idiot? I can't believe the dogs he put up!" said to the winner.
"Boy, aren't you glad Mrs Winallthetime wasn't here today or you might not have won."
"You passed that Master test because the water blind was so easy."
"That was the stupidest set of water marks I've ever seen. No trial should end that easily," said to the winner.
Do you discourage or encourage fellow competitors? Do you tell them their goals are too lofty and their dreams too big? Are you trying to be helpful or trying to keep them from accomplishing something that you never had the ability or perseverance to do yourself? It is equally as harmful to steal joy by destroying the dream.
"No Basset Hounds get UD's," said to the owner of the Bassett in Utility class.
"I've never seen a Rottweiler that could do fronts and finishes", said to the owner of the Rottweiler practicing fronts and finishes.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a UD and a Master Hunter? Do you know how few people have ever done it?" said to the first time dog owner setting out to do both.
When FC AFC OTCH Law Abiding Ezra had both his field championships and 65 OTCH points including all the necessary first places, someone had the guts to come up to me, his owner, trainer and handler and say, "No dog will ever be a field champion and an obedience champion." My jaw drops when I think about it. Isn't it unfortunate that I remember this attempt at stealing my joy much more than I remember all the cards and letters and congratulations I received when those last 35 points were earned?
If you are willing to destroy someone's dream, perhaps you don't realize that it is the JOY of pursuing the dream that keeps the dreamer motivated, not just reaching the accomplishment.
My husband and I travel and compete together. I remember an event, early in our relationship when I watched his Doberman fail articles. "Darn it, " I said, as he came out of the ring," she didn't even try to find the right one!" "Oh", he replied, "but, weren't her heeling and signals wonderful?"
Unknowingly, I had almost stolen his joy. He was celebrating the improvement on the exercise that had been giving him trouble, and I was focused on the failure. Since that experience, Brian and I have learned that the best response to a questionable performance, "What did you think?" That way, if the handler is excited about some aspect of the performance, you can share that excitement. If the handler is disappointed in another aspect, you can share the disappointment. You are safely removed from being a joy stealer.
I hope you have a lot of dreams and goals for your dogs in (the coming year). Undoubtedly there will be moments of disappointment as you venture through the landmines of injury, failures and other setbacks. Remember that the joy of the journey is worth the difficulties along the way and don't let anyone steal that joy. Guard it well and at the end of the road you can own it and revel in it with all the other memories of the trip.
*Permisssion to cross post* a great read for all dog competitors.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I received my volunteer schedule and my job was being the 'weird stranger'. 'OK', I thought..'she knows me, I can do weird'.
I arrive at the event, and start the walk through with the head tester, Bill. Once we get to the 'weird stranger' station, I was given my brief instructions and decided that they should call it 'belligerent' stranger, not weird.
So I spent my afternoon, putting on my best acting chops, waving a horse crop, and yelling (I mean yelling) at Rottweiler's, Dobermans, German Shepherds,Pit Bulls, Bull mastiffs, and the highlight... a 150 lb English Mastiff. They were all leashed and in some cases, double leashed with Bill on the end of one of the lines. I wore a bite sleeve on my arm (you know...just in case), but wish I had brought a box of liver treats ( you know...just in case).
But all the dogs were great..I think I scared a few, but not one dog lunged at me. Notta...nill...zipo. We tested about 20 dogs on my shift, and I was surprised how well the dogs did. Besides listening to my rants about 'lost cans' (you had to be there), the dogs heard gunshots, met a friendly and neutral strangers, had to walk on 2 different types of surfaces and be startled by an opening umbrella. I wish I could have given cookies to all the dogs I yelled at yesterday, but test rules said I couldn't.
I found this test to be most interesting to watch, and wish I could have chatted 'behavior' with Bill, Shannan and Danielle after every dog tested. Being a behavior & training geek, this was really fascinating stuff. for more information on the ATTS, please visit http://www.atts.org/
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
So here I sit...on my day off still in my PJ's and the dogs snoozing on the bed, and my energy level is just depleted. Later on Gimli and I will make a hospital visit, and then maybe grocery shopping? The only thing I have to eat in my fridge is yogurt and soy milk. I am sooo looking forward to May. Liam and I start back in agility classes (yippee!) and Gimli and I are joining our Yankee Cardigan Club friends for a social and yearly meeting at the Vacationland dog show in Scarborough. I am attending another Noseworks workshop and then there is memorial weekend! BBQ's and beach walks! This year the hubby and I are doing a 'staycation' and plan on making the most of what Maine has to offer. I am also looking forward to hitting a few AKC shows with Gimli to work on rally and obedience titles.
So I say...get-a-steppin April...I am anticipating that May is going to be a way cooler month than you.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
It took me a few seconds to figure out what it was....I recognized the shinny green anywhere. This strange woman tied a full bag of poop to her dogs collar. It was hanging just below this poor dogs chin swinging side to side. Really?...Seriously? I couldn't believe it! When I asked her about it...she laughed and said the dog had to carry his own poop. Really? Seriously? Is this walk supposed to be a punishment for the dog?
Just as the words of discontent were swimming around in my head, a lab puppy (about 12 weeks old) came running to greet this very wonderful and very patient dog, and saved my hide. The puppy jumped up and snagged the bag with a needle sharp canine tearing the green plastic and partially spilling its contents on the beach.
The woman gasped and ran over to untie the bag somewhat cursing the puppy. I watched as she collected the spilled poo retied the bag and then decided to carry it the rest of her walk down the beach. The old dog found a spring in his step and I am pretty sure he fully enjoyed the rest of his walk. Some days there is justice.
Friday, April 16, 2010
We are lucky to live in such a great state that not only offers dog friendly cities, but dog friendly parks and beaches. I forget how dog friendly Maine is until I talk to someone from away. My relatives from Long Island NY are always amazed that there are not only dog friendly parks, but that they are off leash.
Its important that us dog loving Mainers remember that we are blessed and to not take advantage of the great spaces that are offered to us. Please remember to carry poop bags (and use them!). Be courteous to others on the trails...remember that not everyone likes dogs(*gasp*), so learn trail etiquette and keep your dog close to when passing non dog people. Teach them to come when called and to greet people (especially children!) politely. Always carry cookies and/or toys with you and reward your dog for appropriate greetings. Don't let your dog harass wildlife. If your dog has a strong prey drive, then keep them on leash while in the woods.
Enjoy the great our great open spaces with your canine friend, but remember that we have to share this world with others!