Archive for August, 2010

Preparing Your Pet for Boarding

Posted on August 19, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

No one likes to put their pet in a boarding facility, but eventually most pet owners will eventually have to.  My first suggestion is to try to find someone who can pet sit at your house, or have your pet go to their house.  The one on one attention and being in a home can be much more comfortable for your pet.  If you aren’t able to find a pet sitter, follow these simple steps to make your pets stay in a boarding facility a little more comfortable.

1.)  Update your pets vaccinations.  Dogs should have their Distemper, Parvo, Corona, Bordatella, and Rabies Vaccines.  Cats should have their Distemper, Feline Leukemia and Rabies Vaccines.

2.) Visit the boarding facility you are going to use.  Get a tour, see how clean it is, check with the staff about play times, and how your pet will be interacting with other pets there.  Also check out the staff, are they upbeat and does it look like they enjoy their job.  Look at the other pets that are boarding, do they look happy?  Is the facility indoor/outdoor?  Where will your pet go to the bathroom?

3.)  Bring your own pet food.  Many pets will get upset stomachs if they change food abruptly.  If you bring your own food, it will help keep their stomachs on track.

4.)  If the kennel will allow, bring a blanket or towel that has your scent.  Keep in mind however, that you may not get it back.  If it gets soiled, it may end up in laundry and get lost or thrown away.

5.)  Bring toys for your pets that they enjoy playing with.  Of course the same rule applies from number 4.

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The Calm Before The Storm

Posted on August 12, 2010. Filed under: 4. Guest Bloggers | Tags: , , , |

Jasper

Several months ago I started my first blog entry by saying “Jasper has cancer.”

Since that time, I’ve met people whose pets lived years with cancer and others whose beloved animals passed away days after being diagnosed. That’s the thing with cancer – you just never know what’s going to happen. It’s almost enough to drive a person crazy.

Jasper’s cancer – officially a soft-tissue sarcoma – was first identified in October 2009. Over the past eleven months, he’s undergone everything from surgery and chemotherapy to radiation and experimental drug therapy. And yet he soldiers on. I could learn a thing or two about strength during times of adversity from him.

Jasper has never been an average dog, though. His breed is Vizsla – aka “the Velcro dog” because of their love of people. They’re also notoriously high energy. Not Jasper. He’s the calmest Vizsla around. Oh, and the sweetest, too. Every time he looks at me with those sad eyes, my heart just melts.

If there’s one thing that Jasper loves above all else, though, it’s water!

My wife and I still smile when we recall the first time we took him down to the dog park along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. For a while he just walked along the beach. Then he decided to be brave and take a few steps into the water.

He stood there for a few seconds and then came running back to us with a look on his face that said, “That was FUN! I’m going back in!” He’s been swimming ever since.

On sunny days he would swim the entire half-mile stretch of river that runs along the edge of the park. Some people take their dog for a walk. I take mine for a swim. And not just during summer.

One frigid January when I wasn’t looking, Jasper decided to venture out on the frozen river. I heard a crash and I turned to see him in the water clawing to get back to land. Without thinking, I threw off my coat, got on my stomach and slid out on the ice. I grabbed his collar, pulled him up and we both made it back to shore without the ice breaking further. That’s when I truly realized how crazy he was about the water.

Jasper still loves our trips to the lake or river, but now that he’s a “mature” dog, he stays a little closer to shore and takes a few more breaks in between swims. Despite the cancer, spending time in the water allows him to just be “Jasper.” I love the break from all the vet visits, pills and tests. And seeing him so happy.

Getting back to where I started, we still don’t know if Jasper has three weeks or three months to live, so all we do is wait and try to enjoy each moment. He’s been doing great lately – running, swimming, eating all his food and jumping on the bed, but could this just be the calm before the storm?

To read more, visit the Jumping Jasper Blog.

– Todd Reubold

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Introducing Our New, Amazing, Beautiful Dog – Dezi!

Posted on August 1, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , |

Bogart's Tree - Japenesse Maple

When our dog Bogart went to dog heaven a few months ago, my husband John and I were heartbroken to the core. He was such a huge part of our family, and we couldn’t imagine our life without him. It was the hardest thing we have ever been through. Since then, we have planted this beautiful tree in our backyard in honor of our goofy boy. Looking at it makes us feel better and heals our hearts and spirits. Every day gets a little better and now the sadness is turning into happiness as we remember all the good times, laughter, fun, and love he brought us. To read more about Bogart’s story, click here.

As a volunteer at the San Diego Humane Society, I have seen so many amazing pets looking for homes. John and I were not actively looking for a new dog, but we knew when the time was right, the perfect one for us would come along. The day was Tuesday, July 27 and after a long day at my job, I decided to volunteer at one of my favorite places. I hung out with some really great dogs, but then I met Dez – a 5-year-old Lab with the sweetest dog face I have ever seen. She stole my heart right then and there. She is great with people, dogs, cats, kids, loves the ocean, fetch and car rides. The more I found out about her, the more I knew she was our new dog. Turns out Dezi, which is what we now call her, was quite the popular dog in the shelter. There was a couple in line for her ahead of us, and several people crowded around her room, looking at and admiring this beautiful girl. However, Dezi has a pretty significant case of hip dysplasia, and that is why the couple ahead of us decided to not go through with the adoption and how we ended up striking gold.

Even though Dezi is five, she has the spirit of a puppy, and it feels like she has been part of our family for years. We know she is older with medical issues, but we plan on enjoying every moment with her and giving her the best care and love she has ever experienced.

Our New Dog!

Everyone who meets her loves her. She is such a happy-go-lucky dog, and we feel so blessed to have found her. I really believe that shelter dogs know they have been rescued and are eternally grateful. I know Bogart is looking down happy at about our decision and will be Dezi’s guardian angel, protecting her and guiding her.

We are so happy about our new family member. The truth is, she really adopted us, and as much as we saved her, she saved us as well and made our hearts whole again.

Our First Family Photo

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