Well we took our first road trip without our Sophie. We had been travelling with her for the past 12 years & she was well schooled at staying hotels. Willie has been on the road with us but never without her. We were anticipating he would experience separation anxiety when we left him in our hotel room & we definitely didn’t want him to go into a panic when we left so we employed a little forethought during the car ride to our destination. When we got to the hotel, we placed his bed, toys & bowls in the room before we did anything else. One of us waited with him while the other unloaded the car.Then we switched, with the other person staying with him. Then we both stayed with him for a few minutes so he could “find” his way around the room & know it was our “den” even if it was temporary. We then went out & came RIGHT back for a couple of times but did it really quickly to get him used to us going out of the door. Our next step was to gradually increase our time outside of the room. The first time we left, he started to whine like it was the end of the world and we weren’t but ten feet from the door, so we stood still to see what he would do & he actually stopped crying. I must add that this may not work with dogs who are not “well adjusted”. The next time we left the room, he whined & I returned to the door, without going inside. I told him to go lay down & he stopped crying. As heart breaking as it was to hear him whine, we did not go back to pet him. This would have just reinforced his being sad.It would have also given him the message that”If I cry, my friends come back-so I will just keep crying”. We also tried to gradually get him used to being in the room alone. The main point is that it was done GRADUALLY & INCREMENTALLY. We have only been here one night & he seems to have adjusted. The process of leaving him for short stints was done over the course of a few hours & was really no work at all.
So far today, our younger dog is doing ok without his momma. It has been cloudy all day so we are hoping that explains his moping around. Since dogs do grieve(yes I assigned a human emotion to dogs because they do feel them), we recognize that he will go thru an adjustment just like us. Since he has hardly been home without anyone in the past 5 yrs, we need to get him acclimated to it in small doses. We both left the house & opened & closed the garage doors-just like we actually left-but we stayed in the garage. We heard him wimper & cry which gave me a knot in my throat. With dogs & kids, you sometimes have to be cruel to be kind. We forced ourselves not to go back inside otherwise, we ran the risk of rewarding his sad behavior because that is just how he would see the situation(When you own a dog, it helps to try to think like one). He would have said to himself, I cried & they came back-so if I cry next time, then they will come back. So we were cruel & waited until he stopped crying. Once he stopped, we went back in. He was happy to see us. We gave him a casual “Hey Little Guy” but nothing too extravagant because that could create separation anxiety all by itself. Tomorrow we must re-enter the daily grind & will have no choice but to leave him alone. In order for him to make the departure more tolerable for him, we will create a distraction to take his mind off of us leaving. We will fill two Kongs with peanut butter & dry dog food & hide a few small piles of dog food throughout his area. Hopefully, he will concentrate on where we are leaving the food & not us putting our coats on. We will just have to take it from there. As much as we want to coddle him during the transition to being the only dog, we refrain because that will reinforce his being sad. He is getting the same type & amount of attention as he did before he lost his momma and we are maintaining his routine so he doesn’t get further confused. As a rule of thumb, the experts say it takes a dog 3 to 5 days in order to adjust to new environment or a change int heir existing one. This is just a general rule. The dog we just said Good Bye to took a good two years & an addition of a puppy to allow her to adjust to the loss of her buddy. We are also trying not to be sad around him so he doesn’t pick up on it. We will all get through this & we need each other to accomplish it but it can be done.
Dogs can enrich our lives in many ways without even trying or knowing how. They do it by just being themsleves. By having a dog, we have a lesser chance of getting heart disease, depression and a host of other infirmaties. They do this with their mere existence within our world-without any training. The ones that are trained can help us weed out bad guys, find people & items, lead blind people, lend comfort to those in distress, alert people to impending seizures, detect pregnancy and assist handicapped people. Dogs have been found to be able to detect certain illnesses in humans, locate rare species of animals and on and on. I have a feeling that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface with regards to the many ways dogs can enrich our lives.
Caring for Animals
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.
The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Use the Pet Owners Brochure and the Pet Instructional Video to help you create an emergency plan and kit for your pet.
For additional information, please contact the Humane Society of the United States.
Plan for pet needs during a disaster by:
Take the following steps to prepare to shelter your pet:
(taken from http://www.ready.gov/animals )
Many dogs absolutely hate having their nails cut. It is usually due to a bad experience when they were hurt during clipping. As a result, the dog has become conditioned to associate pain with nail clipping. As with all training it is important to make every experience a positive & fun one. When you are cutting the dog’s nails, you must be actively conscious that there is a vein running through the nail which is called a “quick”. Cutting into the quick can cause extreme pain in dogs as well as cause them to bleed. Dogs can actually bleed to death from a nail that is cut too short. It is for this reason that I have become a fan of nail grinders. Some dogs have never been trained to accept a nail clipper and get aggressive due to fear of the unknown. Counter-conditioning(teaching the dog to illicit a different behavior) & desensitization(getting the dog used to it) are two very important ways to get your dog over the fear of the clipper. This link will bring you to a very informational video on how to perform these tasks. Please keep in mind that it may take a lot longer for some dogs to have success with these methods, but persistence will prevail. If you are unsure of how to cut your dog’s nails or how short to cut them, then please consult with your veterinarian of professional groomer. Don’t get discouraged-just stick to the program.
Sometimes dogs can have allergic reactions to vaccinations. It is important to recongnize these signs as early treatment can prevent fatal results. This link provides some side effects to watch out for. As always, if you are not sure if your dog is having side effects, please consult your veterinarian immediately. Your vet is your best resouce when helping your dog. This link lists some side effects and what to watch out for.
This dog was scheduled to be euthanized but was successfully re-homed to a family she happened to save from a bad house fire. The dog appears to be one of the “bully” breeds that have been stigmatized. The husband didn’t want the dog when they forst got it. The lessons I would like people to take from this are: 1. Every creature has a purpose 2. Shelter dogs are wonderful for many reasons 3. “Bully” breed dogs are just like any other dogs and shouldn’t be stereotyped 4. Be nice to all living creatures because you never know when one of them could help you.