Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer-

I have barked and pawed about this subject a few times over the years, but it's one I can't bark about nearly enough! Summer is a fun season with every body out enjoying the weather and often taking the dog along.  

With the month of August coming up, and people enjoying the outside even more, before the routine returns in September, my friends at The Uncommon Dog, gave me this infographic to share with you.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday's Friend - Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc.

"Abbott and Costello"
Credit: Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc. 

WOOOFFF!!!  BARK!!! WOW- Look at these puppies- oh, they remind me of when I was just a lad- young, cute, adorable, you know how I am- I mean how puppies can be-  !

The Lab Rescue is currently hosting several litters of puppies. These puppies are only available to puppy-approved adopters.

Since puppies require more time, socialization, lots of attention and training, they will need to go to homes where the the humans have an appropriate lifestyle for a puppy and where someone is home more often than not.

Some puppies are currently available while some will be available July 27 and again, August 9.  For more information contact Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Adoption.
Credit: Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc. 

Friday's Friend - PetConnect Rescue

Here comes Cat Lady, there goes Cat Lady- off she goes to rescue yet another cat, a barkingly great pawsome lady- she probably wishes I would pur, but, well, you know- the guys would..... anyway, she is from PetConnect Rescue and would like me to introduce you to Sherlock-

Credit: PetConnect Rescue
Sweet and inquisitive Sherlock!!  He was born in late February 2013 and rescued with his two sisters (Cora & Elsa) from a Carolina shelter. A terrific big brother, he loves to wrestle, groom, and play with his siblings. He does well with adult cats and would love the companionship of another kitty.

Sherlock is a purr machine and rolls over for belly rubs and tickles under his chin. Though a bit shy initially with strangers, he warms up quickly. A champion with any wand toy he can chase, he loves to play and then find a lap to curl up for cuddles. 

A healthy, neutered kitty, Sherlock has completed his vaccinations and has perfect litter box manners. 

To meet charming Sherlock, please complete the online application, please click here. PetConnect Rescue will contact you.

Friday's Friend - PetConnect Rescue

HEY!!!!!!! Welcome to FRIDAY!!  Just think, in a few hours, you’ll be able to go home and spend the ENTIRE weekend with your pet!!  What a great, fantastic, relaxing, exciting, fun, …… way to spend the weekend-   don’t have a pet? 
Credit: PetConnect Rescue
Meet Nina, a 35 pound, about 1-2 yrs old, Terrier/Pitbull mix from PetConnect Rescue! She is spayed, up to date on shots, house trained and crate trained. 

Nina LOVES people of all ages and sizes. However, she is a bit picky about her doggie friends so she needs to be the only dog in the household. 

Nina LOVES to sit on her foster dad's lap and really enjoys playtime with squeaky toys. She enjoys daily walks and enjoys just sniffing around the backyard. 

If you would like more information on Nina or if you would like to meet Nina, please email Kim or contact PetConnect Rescue.

Credit: PetConnect Rescue

Friday's Friend - Ambassador Pit Bulls

I've had a great week meeting dogs and cats who need a "Forever Home."  My friend, Miss K, from the Ambassador Pit Bulls introduced me to a beautiful young lady who might make the perfect companion for you- 

Credit: Ambassador Pit Bulls
Dirty Paw Photography
This is Sasha! She's a smart and affectionate dog who is 7 years young! She loves going for walks (the longer the better!), riding in the car, playing with toys, especially stuffed, squeaky toys and all kinds of balls. And water??  Sasha LOVES to play in the water, be it fountains, sprinklers, streams or lakes. 

Sasha has impeccable house manners and can be trusted with having the run of the house while you are gone. She's a quiet dog, doesn't bark in the house, in the car or on her walks. In fact, the only time she does bark, unfortunately, is at adoption events!
Credit: Ambassador Pit Bulls
Sasha loves people of all ages, from children to senior citizens. She is friendly to those who visit inside her home, even the appliance repairman! Sasha is best friends with the neighborhood mailman and keeps an eye out for his truck while out on walks, so that she can go greet him. 

At the vet, Sasha wags her tail the entire time! Once the exam is through, she covers everyone with kisses. Sasha is cooperative when being bathed and is even a good sport about getting her nails trimmed.

While Sasha could probably learn to live with another dog, Ambassador Pit Bulls believes that she would be most comfortable as an only dog, since its what she has grown accustomed to over the years. She is happily single. However, you can still walk her outdoors in the presence of other dogs. Introductions to other dogs is best when done slowly and gradually- taking them for a walk together is ideal.

Inside the home, Sasha likes to stay close to her human, but doesn't need constant attention. She’s happy to entertain herself with toys or to join you while watching TV, where she’ll happily stretch herself across your lap, if you invite her to sit with you. Sasha likes to sleep in her own dog bed in your bedroom at night. A considerate roommate, she doesn't snore and she’ll let you sleep in on the weekends!

If you would like more information about Sasha, please visit, Ambassador Pit Bulls.


Friday's Friend - Washington Humane Society

Welcome to Friday- one of the most joyous days of the week- Saturday and Sunday coming in first and second or second and first whichever you like best- my wonderful friend at the Washington Humane Society shared with me a cat who is looking for a companion and "Forever Home."

Credit: Washington Humane Society 
Vic, a handsome one-year-old cat, can be a bit sheepish at first, but if you wait just a minute with him, he will cozy right up to you!

Vic came to WHS in February 2013 as a stray. Though he gets along well with other cats, Vic would do best in a calm, quiet home. 

 If you think you would make a great match, please visit Vic at the New York Avenue Adoption Center today (1201 New York Avenue, NE/202-727-5494), or visit
 Washington Humane Society.

Attention Veterans:
Washington Humane Society is a Pets for Patriots adoption partner offering veterans in our program a 50% adoption fee discount! Pets for Patriots and Washington Humane Society.

Thanks to the Washington Humane Society for today's Friday's Friend. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday's Friend - Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P.

Credit: Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P.
Fuzzy Pants Photography
Looking for a slightly older dog? Meet Max, who is a 9 year old, happy go-lucky yellow neutered male! He is up to date on his shots, heartworm negative, is good with other dogs and is approved for kids aged 10 and up. He weighs 78 lbs.
Max is crate trained as well as 110% house trained. He’ll even let you know when he needs to step out for a moment!

Max loves to play with tennis balls and other toys and is actually Deputy in Charge of Destuffing Toys, and he is quite accomplished at his foster home. He loves swimming and will retrieve in water. He loves going for a ride and prefers fresh air- not air conditioning.

He knows basic commands, sit and down, stay and give/leave it command when you need to take a toy from him! He likes to go for walks but prefers short ones and does well on a leash- like a dream dog.

He has a handsome smile and loves to flash it often as he loves nothing more than being next to his human having his belly or ears rubbed and told he's a good boy.

Whoever adopts Max will be getting a great dog, but they must be willing to help him adjust to his new life. He has gone through a lot of change and just needs time to get acclimated to his new surroundings and lifestyle.

Interesting in checking Max out? Visit Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P. for more information.

Friday's Friend - PetConnect Rescue

I got a visit from my friend "Cat Lady" from PetConnect Rescue this week- that was so cool and did I tell you? I got to finally meet her a few weeks ago- it was so great!  She and her volunteers are so dedicated to the cats it's wonderful!

Credit: PetConnect Rescue
Credit: PetConnect Rescue
Poor, sweet Bonnie wasn't doing well at the shelter.  Her family gave her up and so she hovered, terrified, at the back of her cage.  Desparately wanting attention, she would come to the front when anyone paid attention, but she was so scared most of the time. 

Bonnie is now in a wonderful foster home where her awesome personality is emerging. She is SO loving and purrs up a storm! She loves to drop to her back when you are nearby so you can pet and brush her. 

Bonnie is spayed, up-to-date with all vetting and she tested negative for FIV and leukemia. Bonnie is sure to become a devoted friend and companion!

Adoption procedures, fees, and applications may be viewed by clicking here.

Friday's Friend - Ambassador Pit Bulls

My buddy Admiral has weathered more than his fair share of bad luck in his lifetime!  I met him through one of the volunteers with Ambassador Pit Bulls.

Credits: Ambassador Pit Bulls
Dirty Paw Photography
WOW! The list of stuff Admiral has gone through is amazing: he was forced to live with a broken femur for months with no treatment; he was tied to a tree and abandoned while suffering with the broken leg; he spent time in a shelter; and he’s had an FHO surgery; he’s overcome a deep infection in his pelvic bone; he battles with separation anxiety daily; And most recently he’s had his bad leg amputated. Really, how much can one dog take? You can read about it in his Blog.

You'd think these challenges would be too much and would affect Adminal.  But, it hasn't as he's remained friendly and docile. He gives as much love as he gets.  His quiet demeanor is praised by everyone who meets him.  He has a pretty large fan base for a homeless rescue dog and his foster family adores him.

Shy with people?  Naw, Admiral isn't!  He’s acts as if he's never met a stranger and is one of the most forgiving beings on the planet as he does not hold what was done to him in the past against anyone!

Admiral’s ideal home is one where someone is home most of the time. He lives with rabbits (one of whom is his best friend and they hang out with each other at least once a week) and other dogs. Car rides make him pretty queasy but once you get to your destination he is happy to join you wherever you go. He really wants a family to call his own. Can you give him the home he deserves?

For more information, please contact Ambassador Pit Bulls

"Wanna be my friend?"
Credit: Ambassador Pit Bull
Dirty Paw Photography
Thank you to Ambassador Pit Bull for Friday's Friend. 

Friday's Friend - PetConnect Rescue

 I love writing about these pups who need "Forever Homes" though I am sorry that they ended up in a position where they've had to go through this and find a new home- 

My friend at PetConnect Rescue brought me a very young puppy to introduce to you this week-

Credit: PetConnect Rescue
Now if that face doesn't bark "Ain't I the cutest thing- you need to adopt me- take me home and let me be your friend," I don't know what does- she's almost as cute as I am!

Please meet Mattie, a 6 week old Husky/Shepherd mix pup. She and her siblings were left at a rural kill shelter, but are now safe in foster care, awaiting their forever home.  

PetConnect Rescue is accepting applications for the pups, however, they will not be ready to go to their forever homes until July 25th when they will be 8 weeks old. 

Mattie's adopter will need to be someone who is home a good part of the day to work on her housetraining and social skills. She is up-to-date on age appropriate vaccines and will need to be spayed when old enough.

For more information, please visit PetConnect Rescue and complete our non-binding, online application, then email Kim at

Thanks to PetConnect Rescue for Friday's Friend.

Friday's Friend - Washington Humane Society

My friend at the Washington Humane Society introduced me to Abe- who is quite the intelligent dog- we had a great time debating the issues of the world and solving them all- you the saying "All I need to know, I learned from my dog!"- Abe and I are example of smart dogs!

Credit: Washington Humane Society
Abe, the brainiac, is a two-year hound mix! (We hounds - got it!!)  Abe learns new commands in three days and, according to his foster mom, is very gifted at reading people!! 

Abe came to the Washington Humane Society in March extremely emaciated, but he's now a healthy, happy, dog looking for a special family to love forever. 

He’s gentle with children and tries to make friends with his cat siblings in foster care, despite their unfriendly catty nature. 

“Despite everything that's happened to him, he still loves us. He's a very good dog,” says Abe’s foster mom Coreen.

If you would like more information or would like to meet Abe, please email Coreen at

Attention Veterans:
Washington Humane Society is a Pets for Patriots adoption partner offering veterans in our program a 50% adoption fee discount! Pets for Patriots and Washington Humane Society.
Thanks to the Washington Humane Society for today's Friday's Friend. 

Friday's Friend - Washington Humane Society

My favorite day of the week- Friday!! because I get to introduce you to many of my new furry friends who need companions and Forever Homes.  My friend from the Washington Humane Society sent me a cat to introduce to you this week!
Credit: Washington Humane Society
Please meet Mercedes- I've always wanted to drive on of those convertible Mercedes convertibles- great cars-

Mercedes holds the unique distinction of being the longest kitty resident at the WHS New York Avenue Adoption Center! She was surrendered to WHS on April 15, 2013.

A loving eight-year-old lady and mother of four is ready to find a "Forever Home" that she can call her own. She can’t wait to meet you today at the WHS New York Avenue Adoption Center (1201 New York Avenue, NE/ 202-727-5494). Washington Humane Society.

Thank you to the Washington Humane Society for today's Friday's Friend. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kathleen Ewings "Dog Days Dog Show" at the Athenaeum Gallery- and the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

My buddy Patrick at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria sent me an email this week about an event supporting his organizations work and I've got to paw it with you- looks like a great evening out for pet parents, except I think you will need to get a sitter for your pet.

Do you enjoy art?  How about photography? If so, you need to see this exhibit-The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Society (NVFAA) welcomes Kathleen Ewing’s "Dog Days Dog Show" at the Athenaeum Gallery. The show continues its success and tradition of the Dog Days Dog Shows that Ewing held in galleries during Washington DC summers since 1986. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Thurston Hopkins, "La Dolce Vita,
Knightsbridge, London, 1953"
Ewing curates a wide variety of superb photographs – both contemporary and vintage — all about “dogdom.” Included in this exhibit are works by Harold Feinstein, Thurston Hopkins, Allan Janus, Mark Power, Grace Robertson, Pentti Sammallahti, Claudia Smigrod, Steve Szabo, as well as 19th and early 20th century dog portraits!

William Wegman, "Riddles and Roses," 1999,
Courtesy Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Ewing emphasizes, “My initial Dog Days Dog Show was a tribute to my first canine, Heather, a beloved West Highland White Terrier. Since losing Heather, I have adopted numerous shelter dogs and have become committed to the best practices of responsible animal welfare. I hope my selection of dog images reflects on the various aspects of canine companionship, how those relationships enhance our lives and benefit the animals in our care. I do harbor affection for the felines, and one cat always seems to sneak into my shows.”

The opening reception for Dog Days Dog Show is Sunday, July 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m., and it's FREE!!!  The show is open, July 18-September 1, 2013.

The exhibit is at the Athenaeum Gallery, 201 Prince St., Alexandria, VA.  If you would like additional information,, 703.683.5058, or visit, Northern Virginia Fine Arts Society (NVFAA).

Dog Breeds - Labrador Retriever and Labrador Retriever Mixes

One of the bestest breeds you could ever consider adopting whether a purebred or a mix is the Labrador Retriever.  From my view, they are the best in the world!  I think my human would agree- my ancestry is Labrador Retriever and Plott Hound and maybe some else thrown in the mix for fun- but those are the two dominant breeds that make me up. 
Looking for a Labrador Dog or Puppy? Why Not Adopt!Why Not Adopt!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday's Success Stories- from Those who Rescued!

This is so cool, my human buddy Big Bruno who I introduced to you awhile ago and we heard from him mostly recently as he fostered my friend Hardee (now known as Harper) for PetConnect Rescue sent me an email updating Hardee's, er, Harper's status!

"Harper at his Forever Home"
Credit: Big Bruno, PetConnect Rescue
"My brother and sister-in-law fell in love with him and after meeting him a few times decided to adopt him. I only wish all dogs could be as fortunate as Harper....he hit the jackpot.

Here is their story: The new addition to our family is a bundle of fur we named Harper, a 60 lb. Shepherd/Collie mix. As past owners of rescue dogs, we know how important it is to adopt a dog from a local shelter or rescue organization. 

Harper (yes- he is named for the baseball player) loves to field balls and is feeling right at home. Our 10 year old Lab mix gave us the "paws up" sign for the adoption and he is getting some additional exercise due to the energy level of 18 month old Harper. 

We found that introducing the dogs (leashed) at a park was a good way to observe any potential personality conflicts that could affect the adoption of Harper. The next step was to take both dogs to our back yard for some supervised play. The final test was observing their behavior on a walk. The key was for our Lab mix to show that he was ok with Harper, and we got that signal. 

As with many siblings, Harper is sometimes the pesky younger brother, but the older dog is clear that he (Ari) is the alpha. Harper respects that assignment. Although Harper can't bat (something about not having a thumb...) he is our new All Star!

Isn't that a cool story for Harper?  If you are looking for an addition to your family, please check out our "Friends" tab for rescue organization contacts.

Please feel free to share a brief comment about your successful adoption experience in the comment section below!

Saturday's Friday's Friend - PetConnect Rescue

Sometimes my human gets to meet and photograph dogs for the rescue organizations here in the Washington D.C. Metro Area.  He loves it- well, he got to meet this guy fromPetConnect Rescue at a photo shoot in Springfield, VA and loved meeting him.  I'd like to you to meet him too. 

Please meet my friend Peyton- who is looking for a companion and a Forever Home!

Credit: PetConnect Rescue
Peyton's a cool 7 month old Bulldog/Pit mix pup, who weighs approximately 45 pounds. Peyton is housebroken, neutered, up-to-date on age appropriate vaccines and preventatives and ready to find his forever home! 

He does well with other dogs, so much that when he meets new people, he tends to look to the resident dog to ensure everything is okay. 

Peyton is a bit shy, but once he warms up, you'll have a friend for life. However, since he is timid, a home with young children is not recommended. 

Peyton's ideal home would have another dog to "show him the ropes." As Peyton is still a pup, an adopter who is home a good part of the day to continue with his social skills is ideal. 

For more information, please visit PetConnect Rescue and complete our non-binding, online application, then email Kim at

Saturday's Friday's Friend - :Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc.

While my humans were travelling this week, I went around and met some friends for you who are looking for their "Forever Homes" and companions to spend their lives with.  One of my friends at the Lab Rescue introduced me to Benson.

Credit: Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc.
Benson, is an 8 month old black neutered 50 lbs. male who is update on his shots and is heartworm negative. He's good with other dogs and is approved for kids aged 10 and up. He is housetrained and will let you know when he needs to go out. He sleeps through the night.

Credit: Lab Rescue
of the L.R.C.P., Inc.
Benson is a cute little guy who just needs some love, attention and training. He is not used to being crated. Benson LOVES to play!  He has adjusted to changes well and knows his basic commands, comes when called, and walks well off/on leash. He's well socialized and greets both people and other dogs passively. Benson enjoys playing with all his foster's dogs and swimming at the river. Fetch is not one of his strong skills but he does enjoy his toys. 

Benson has an independent but loving disposition and would make a great companion in his new "Forever Home."  

Interested?  For more information, please visit, Labs for Adoption Center.

"Benson Relaxing"
Credit: Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc.
Thank you to Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P., Inc., for Friday's Friend.

Saturday's Friday's Friend - Operation Paws For Homes

Are you interested in helping to save a life? RUFF!! I’m so thankful my humans were! If you are please read on or share with someone- my friends from Operation Paws for Homes introduced me to a new buddy this week you might be interested in meeting. Please meet Seminole- er, yes, he's in there- just follow the hands-  RUFF!!!!!

Credit: Operation Paws for Homes
A handsome, possibly 2-3 year old Black Lab Male, Seminole was dumped in a rural SC shelter with a neck wound. Though he was in pain, this cool southern dude, warmed the hearts of the South Carolina shelter staff and became a favorite! And, that is quite the accomplishment for a shelter that takes in hundreds of dogs a week! A last minute plea, with only 7 minutes on the clock, the shelter emailed Operation Paws for Homes asking if they could find some room for Seminole.

"Seminole at Oriole's Game"
Credit: Operation Paws
for Homes
An important item about Seminole as he will need an adopter who can continue to work with him during dog-on-dog interactions. He does great at doggie daycare as long as other dogs don’t attempt to assert dominance over him. OPH is working on Seminole's training and progress to get him used to all other dogs. Since Seminole had a rough start to life, he wasn't properly socialized so he'll need an adoptive family who will continue to train so that one day he will be able to make and keep doggie friends! With daily professional training, Semi has already started to forget his past!!

Seminole is a very intelligent pup! He’s doing very well with sit, come, get down, and lay down commands. He is great with people absolutely loving everyone and gentle with kids. Seminole just wants a person to love him back -he loves to attaches himself to his “person.”

Since his is up to date on all shots, neutered and microchipped, he is ready to enter your family. Extremely low maintenance - he's a super easy dog to care for. His short length coat won't leave fur balls around your house. He loves to be near you, but is happy going off to take a nap if you're busy. An excellent pup for single, couple, or family - Semi just wants to be spoiled with love, affection, and be taken for a great romp around now and then.

Also, Seminole has a blog! Read it here Semi's Story -Semi is a deserving dog in search of a loving home.

Submit an application today so you can visit him, fall completely in love and take him home! Seminole is staying with his foster family in Shady Side, MD. 

"Aren't I Cute- Take Me Home"
Credit: Operation Paws for Homes
Thank you to Operation Paws for Homes for Friday's Friend.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Friend - Washington Humane Society

Credit: Washington Humane Society
My friend today from the Washington Humane Society is a bud named Maze. After learning about him, I've felt sorry for him but he's been taken care of and is ready to go home with you.

At less than one-years old, Maze was rescued by a WHS Humane Law Enforcement Officer because he was suffering abuse at the hand of his owner. PAWS TO YOU WHS Officer! He was nursed back to health by the society.

Despite his past, Maze has kept his lovable, friendly personality, and loves to run, play, and be petted. Maze wants to share his puppy love with you in a "Forever Home." For more information, please visit WHS Georgia Avenue Adoption Center!

Attention Veterans:
Washington Humane Society is a Pets for Patriots adoption partner offering veterans in our program a 50% adoption fee discount! Pets for Patriots and Washington Humane Society.

Thank you to the Washington Humane Society for today's Friday's Friend. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Travelling With Your Dog

Summer is upon us and it is that time of year when people begin to think about their summer vacation and escaping from the demands of daily life for a short time. Not surprisingly, there are many millions of families all around the world who struggle to plan a vacation because they have a dog. Although there has been a huge improvement in dog friendly accommodation and resorts during recent years, people still seem unsure, and will often sacrifice their family vacation in favor of several daily excursions with the dog. This is a shame really, because there are lots of options available, and plenty of fun things to do with your pet. It really isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Suggested Dog Friendly Vacations
Travelling with your dog is actually very easy to do. Depending on the common interests of your family members, you can book in to caravan and camping sites where you set up your pitch and head off into the wilderness. Or if you prefer something a little more comfortable, you can find many dog friendly motels and self catering apartments or houses in holiday resorts. Then there are luxury hotels that have begun to offer special packages for families with dogs. Some hotels will even offer treatments including dog therapies, gift packs containing chew toys, collars and leashes, and individual dog grooming and dog sitting services. For something totally different, how about taking your dog on a cruise? That’s right, you can actually take your dog on board a ship and cruise around the world on vacation! There is a dedicated cruise ship operated by Cunard Liners, and it has purpose built kennels, highly trained staff to care for your pet, and lots of treats on hand for your pampered pooch.

Prepare your Dog for Travel
You might wonder how it is possible to go cruising with your dog when there are so many restrictions around vaccinations and entry into other countries. You would have to check out the specific places you were planning to visit, but if you take your dog on the special cruise liner, you can enjoy excursions in lots of exotic locations and leave your dog safely on board in the hands of the trained professionals. The dogs are exercised, fed and entertained, and you can leave special instructions and guidelines if you want to. The staff members are there to help, and their job is to keep your dog happy. After a fun day of sight seeing, you can return to the ship and be with your furry friend for the evening. It is just like being at home, only it is far more exciting and adventurous! It is advisable to ensure that your dog is properly vaccinated against infections or diseases such as kennel cough, but this is easily carried out by your veterinary surgeon. Simply ask at your local pet care center for more details and information. You might also want to ensure that your dog is relaxed in the company of others, and that he or she is sufficiently trained in obedience with new people. This will simply make for a more enjoyable holiday.

A Quiet Vacation

Some dogs might not be happy about spending time out at sea. It is true that most dogs seem to enjoy the water, but generally they prefer to swim in it and chase sticks, rather than drift around on a boat. Fear not, there are other options besides the cruise ship. As mentioned earlier, there are lots of dedicated pet friendly holiday resorts to visit, and there are also festivals and gatherings that you can attend. These events are probably more suited to dogs that prefer to be sociable. If your pet is of a nervous disposition, then a quiet retreat is probably more appropriate. It all depends on your individual needs and desires.

Ultimately, the possibilities are endless when it comes to taking a vacation with your dog. As long as you carefully check the small print when booking your holiday, and you ensure that everything is organized in terms of vaccinations and relevant paperwork, you are good to go. Pack up the family, pack up your pooch, and don’t forget the chew bones and dog leash! Head off on your travels and explore the wonders of the world around you. Who knows, maybe your dog will have a holiday romance while you are away? Give your pet a treat, and he or she will adore you forever (even more so than usual).

Annie McKay is a freelance writer and researcher.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dog Care Tips- Keep Your Dog Safe at the Cookout!

My human loves to grill and I love to watch, smell, sniff, drool and hope that he'll drop some meat, while he's doing it. As you can guess though, it can be a dangerous situation, not only for the humans but us dogs too. 

My buddies at Petfinder have created this great "dog safe" infographic for you to show to your humans-  and, remember, you need to pay attention to the cat too- 

If you follow these tips, everyone should have a great cookout-

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 4th Pet Safety Tips

When you are planning your outdoor parties, grill outs and other summer fun activities, don't forget, especially here around the 4th of July to plan for your pets care- more pets get lost this time of year than any other-

Thank you to Petfinder for creating this infographic.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Does Your Dog Help You with Chores?

Do you feel there is not enough hours in a day to get all of your work done? There may be a way your dog can help you with your everyday chores.

I have trained my Alaskan Malamutes to do many things for me. It came in very handy when I was injured with a fractured leg, and had surgery on my hand. Some breeds may not be able to do everything on this list due to their small size, but they may be able to help you with some of them.

Things our dogs can do for us to help out in our daily lives

Carry in groceries.

Pick up their toys.

Pick up sticks in yard.

Bring in the newspaper.

Carry their own luggage into hotel room.

Carry in a bottle of water.

and many other chores.

My sister had surgery on her neck and was unable to lift or carry things for several months.

I figured I could help her out by training her Labrador Retriever, Vader to bring the groceries to the kitchen for her.
"Vader Carries Groceries"
Credit: Anna Grob

This chore is very easy to train retrievers and terriers since they like to carry things around in their mouths.

Commands the dog will need to know to train the task, Carry Groceries.

Take it, Hold it, Drop it, Give, Carry and Bring.

I had Vader hold a plastic bag in his mouth with a small light object in it like a roll of toilet paper. I then asked him to bring it to me standing a couple of feet away. After he was used to walking around with it, I had him place it down in front of the refrigerator.

After he was good at that, I started to add heavier objects like a full roll of paper towel, or Kleenex box until he was used to the bag slightly swinging back and forth.

It helped my sister tremendously. One word of caution, do not allow your dog to carry very heavy, glass items, or eggs. Do not let him carry groceries up or down the stairs. He may trip on the bag as he is going up or down.

Pick Up Objects in the Yard

.Take it, drop it in a pile or box for yard waste. My dog Kia helped my husband bring in a 20 foot branch that fell from our tree. My husband carried one end, and Kia carried the other. My dogs help bring small trigs and place it near or into a small box for the yard waste.

"Kiana Brings Hammer"
Credit: Anna Grob
My dog Kiana helped my husband when he needed a specific tool like a hammer for building objects. Here again, be sure your dog is physically capable of carrying these objects. Never allow him to carry sharp or electrical objects.

Putting Toys Away
I usually tell my dogs, Toys Away. Teach him take it, bring, and drop.

Bringing in Newspaper
This is a very simple chore to teach your dog. Always go out with your dog to make sure he doesn't run off or into the street. I usually let my dogs bring in the paper while still on a leash after our walks. This way I know they will always be safe.

Pulling Utility Cart
This is very handy when you need help in the yard or for gardening.
"Pulling the Garden Cart"
Credit: Anna Grob

Your dog will need to be very obedient for this chore. He will also have to know the commands for carting. Sit, and down stays are also important. Please do not let your dog do this chore in the sun or hot weather or for long periods of time. I usually have my dog Kia attached to the cart when I am finished with my gardening and need to load the cart with weeds or my gardening tools. This way she will only need to be hooked up for a short time. A 70 pound dog should be able to pull between 10-20 pounds for yard work. Do not load the cart any heavier than that.

"Kiana Digging"
Credit: Anna Grob

My dogs know the command, Dig. Dogs love to dig, and this chore comes in handy quite often, especially with yard work. Our dog Kiana helped us dig out a wooden deck post, and many other unwanted objects in our yard. Our dog Kia, helped my husband dig out the doorway of a life-size igloo he made for our dogs. 

With Kia's help, it saved him many hours of bending and digging himself.
"Klondike Carrying Backpack"
Credit: Anna Grob

Carrying in Luggage
My husband and I travel with our dogs frequently. The dogs wear a backpack made for dogs to carry in their own luggage. Their backpack holds their brushes, toys, food, and other small objects. Again, do not allow your dog to go up or down stairs while carrying objects. Your dog should be in good physical condition to carry a pack. Most dogs can carry 1/4 their body weight. Which means, if your dog is 70 pounds, he can carry 17 1/2 lbs. Be sure to pack his bag evenly on both sides. It will be easier for him to carry it.

Your dog can make a difference in your daily activites by helping you with chores. Enjoy his willingness to help you, and be sure to praise him.

Happy training.

About the Author: Anna Grob has worked with animals for over 25 years as a vet assistant and professional all breed pet groomer. She studied the art of grooming for competitons and attended many workshops and seminars, while working side by side with well known groomers and judges. Anna participated in a study for many animal related projects such as animal behavior, skin and coat health and animal enrichment. Anna is a docent volunteer at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago. She has studied wolves, coyotes, and related canids. She is an Award winning artist, and an author and illustrator of Childrens Books. Anna's first book A Coyote Who Wished He Lived In A Zoo was released last year. Her second book A Wild Dog Without a Patch will be released 2013.