Why Puppies Aren’t For Everyone

Who doesn’t love a puppy? They are cute, adorable and full of fun. You can’t help but smile when a puppy is around, complete with adoring eyes that follow you everywhere you go. Their faces are so sweet!

However, puppies are not for everyone. This true story tells the tale of how a puppy can be a disaster if placed in the wrong hands.

My mother-in-law is 84 years old and lives on her own in a senior community in California. She is in relatively good health but has a bad back and mobility issues. Six months ago she lost her beloved labradoodle Hannah and was devastated. As she has had dogs ever since she was a child, she decided she was ready for another dog.

I encouraged her to get a senior dog, one that was already trained. However, she was insistent the dog be a labradoodle. I called animal shelters and rescue groups throughout California and was told these dogs are rarely abandoned because they are “designer dogs”. Instead, she decided to get a puppy who was lovingly delivered to her at 12-weeks-old.

My mother-in-law has brand new white carpeting and a white couch. She was having trouble housebreaking the dog because ”stern” is just not in her personality at this age. Even though she could give us the “stink eye” over the years, the dog did not respond to this type of discipline. It’s now been 4 months and “Lucy” is still pooping all over the house. “What are you going to do?” I ask her. “No worries”, she says. “I’ll just buy new carpeting.”  “I leave the patio door open every night with the light on in hopes she’ll go outside on my patio.”

Does she think there are no burglars? She leaves the lights on – might as well invite the thieves in for a cup of coffee!

Continue reading

Dog Friendly Fruits and Vegetables

>Summertime can mean visits to the pool or lake, family and friend barbeques, and a more relaxed atmosphere overall. The kids are generally out of school, so the early morning hustle and bustle to get out the door and the late night homework assignments don’t re-start until mid-August.

If you’re like me, your meals are lighter in the summer. Why? Because it’s often too hot to cook or eat a heavy meal. The good news? Not only do I get more exercise in the summer, but I eat better — fruits and vegetables galore.

Many fruits and vegetables are low in calorie and provide vital vitamins that your body craves. Did you know that many of these are good for your dog as well?

Continue reading

How to Recognize If Your Older Dog Is In Pain

When children are hurt, you can often tell by their screams or the expression on their faces. When dogs are in pain or hurting it can be hard to tell.

If you step on their paw accidentally, they may respond with a loud help. However, it is part of the animal instinct not to show they are hurting as the pack may see it as a sign of weakness.

Continue reading

Giving Thanks For My Dog

Help Em Up Dog ThanksAs the hustle and bustle of the holidays draw near, we sometimes forget the simple things in life –what we are thankful for. As we are adding up our blessings, our family and friends often come to mind first.  It’s sometimes simple to overlook one of the most important aspects of our life: our canine and feline companions.

As a pet parent myself, I know that our dogs have brought me an endless source of love. Here is my list of what I am thankful for … I encourage you to make your own!

Continue reading

Could Your Senior Dog Have The Flu?

dreamstimedogcoldIf you have had the flu recently, you know it is miserable – headaches, coughing, sneezing, nausea and a high fever. Although the symptoms for a dog are slightly different, did you know your dog can get what is known as “canine influenza virus” or “dog flu”? It can be equally as debilitating for dogs!

What is Canine Flu?
Canine flu was first identified at a Florida racetrack in 2003, but the main strain identified now was brought to the United States by a single dog from Korea in 2015 (via Chicago).  The two strains that are prominent are H3N2 (originally from horses) and H3N2 [originally from birds). In just a year the virus has spread to 26 states and 820 dogs. According to the Center for Disease Control, dog flu can be spread “by direct contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from infected dogs, by uninfected dogs coming into contact with contaminated objects, and by moving contaminated objects or materials between infected and uninfected dogs.”

Continue reading

Help’Em Up Dog Mobility Harness Helped Me Out!

dog mobility harness, helpemupharnessI have sciatica. My husband has a bad shoulder and back. My 15-year-old dog has arthritis. What a fun threesome we are!

My 75-pound Labrador Buddy lives to hunt ducks with my husband. In fact, that is a big reason we moved to Texas after 40 years in Colorado. My husband and Buddy spend three months a year getting up at an unreasonable hour and enjoying time on the boat. Wouldn’t catch me getting out of bed at 4:30AM to set up decoys! And just so you know, all the meat that we can’t eat is donated to the church. In the summertime they take the boat out to fish … anyone want some free catfish?

Continue reading