I recently ran across this quote and wanted to share it.
I can’t think of anything that brings me closer to tears than when my old dog — completely exhausted after a hard day in the field — limps away from her nice spot in front of the fire and comes over to where I’m sitting and puts her head in my lap, a paw over my knee, and closes her eyes and goes back to sleep. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve that kind of friend.” — Gene Hill
Most dogs eat grass from time to time, but when you see it happen you might be worried that something is wrong because it doesn’t seem natural. After all, you give your dog plenty of food, RIGHT? So is he hungry? Sick? Bored? Will eating grass hurt him?
Eating grass is a common practice for dogs (it has also been observed in wild dogs) and it does not usually cause any problems. (except when they puck in the house). Most veterinarians consider it to be a normal dog behavior.
Studies of dogs that have regular access to grass and other plants found – shows that 79% of those dogs had eaten plants at some time. A survey focused on plant-eating dogs, found that grass was the most commonly eaten plant.
There are several of reasons suggested as to why dogs eat grass.
Some people suggest that dogs turn to eating grass when they don’t feel well and that eating grass is a way to make themselves vomit, resulting in feeling better. But the evidence suggests that most dogs that eat grass aren’t sick before they eat the grass. In fact, less than 10% of dogs seem to be sick before eating grass, according to a survey. In the same survey, of the dogs who ate grass – less than 25% of vomited after eating it.
Other opinions offered suggest that dogs might be eating grass to improving digestion, treating intestinal worms, or that it fulfills some nutritional need, like the need for more fiber.
All of these reasons may actually have some validity. But, there is also one other possibility … your dog simply just likes the way grass tastes or feels in his mouth. Like you, your dog likes a treat from time to time, and he thinks that grass is the equivalent of an ice cream cone …. you know, a “treat”.
We hear a lot about leadership with dogs. But what does that mean, and how important is it to our dogs? Like any social creature, dogs use a variety of signals to navigate day-to-day life, and they look to those they live with to do the same.
Traditional advice urges owners to eat first, go through doorways first, alpha roll their dogs, force dogs to walk behind them, and engage in similar behaviors designed to artificially increase their rank in their dogs’ eyes. The message drips with fear (not to mention a healthy dose of paranoia): if you don’t work hard to keep your dog down, he’ll stage a household coup. Dogs are social climbers, we’re told, and if we don’t view every interaction as a contest that we must win, our dogs will take advantage of some perceived weakness and take over.
So here’s the thing: leadership is important…
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This is a video of Patchs and Neka playing. It was taken in my back yard in June 2009. This kind of play session happened 2-3 time per day, everyday! And they both looked forward to some rough-housing to burn off their extra energy.
If you read my past few posts you will remember that Neka was a “basket case” when I got her. The Rescue I got her from told me that she was so anti-social that she would never be able to be around other dogs, and would have to be the “only” dog in the household. They also had concerns about her being around kids and men as she seamed to be very fearful.
This video was taken almost 22 months after I got Neka. By this time I had worked with her for hundreds of hours. Both alone and in controlled situations with people and with other dogs. She was pretty well over her fear issues and had been well socialized. She had learned that dogs and humans were her friends and she loved to play with other dogs and loved to be around people, especially little kids.
When this video was taken Patchs had been living with us for about 2 months and it was like they had been best buddies for ever. They bonded almost instantly! In the 3+ years they were together they only had one little issue and it was over a treat that fell on the floor. The whole thing lasted about 2 seconds because I was right there to stop it as it started! (Patchs started it).
Socializing dogs correctly is the key. With these two, it took me almost a full month of backyard playtimes to make sure that they were cool with each other in every situation before I agreed to bring Patchs into our home!
Socializing is not rocket science. It is just a matter of being aware of the dog’s personality and body language, and then being able to control situations before they get out of hand. This comes by bonding with the dog as soon as you can. Being able to stop play sessions like this one when I saw things starting to “heat up” kept them from playing to rough or going to far. A simple “Enough” followed by “Lay Down” given to each dog was like pushing the “restart” button.
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If I Were a Dog
by Michael Albee
If I Were a Dog, I would want to be loved by a kind and caring master.
… I would want to be loved just as unconditionally as I love.
… I would want to hang around with my master all of the time – my master is the center of my world.
… I would want to have a warm and comfortable place to live with lots of food and water.
… I would want to be outside all of the time when the weather is nice.
… I would hang out in the yard or on the deck and soak up the sun.
… I would relax and breathe the sweet, clean air and listen to the sounds of nature around me.
… I would run and play all day long because that’s what makes me happy.
… I would want to be friends with everyone I meet.
… I would play and share my great life with anyone who is my friend.
… If I was alone, I would call to my master and ask him to share the joy I’m feeling.
… I would share my happiness with the ones that love me.
… I would go for walks every chance I get because I love to discover things.
… I would strut proudly as I travel, because I’m walking with my master.
… I would be sniffing side to side to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.
… I would give chase to anything that moves, not to hunt it, just to play!
But if I were a dog and I had a master who beat me or treated me badly, I would run away and look all around until I found a master who loved me for who I am. When I found him I would lick his face and cuddle with him so that he knew I loved him.
But since I’m not a dog, I promise to always keep these things in mind as I interact with all dogs. I also promise to look out for, and help dogs that need my help to live the life I would want … “If I Were a Dog!”
Feel Free to re-post this as long as it is done in it’s entirety
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