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Fungi Facts for You and Your Four-Legged Loved Ones (Part Two)

In this series we continue to identify and discuss the top ten mushrooms that are poisonous to dogs and what to do if your dog decides to take a bite. While we like to think that our dogs would know better than to snack on some fungi (some show no interest) being aware of – and able to identify – certain strains of poisonous mushroom could save us animal lovers a costly trip to the ER and even Buddy’s life! Let’s take a closer look at a few more mushrooms… Continued

Fungi Facts for You and Your Four-Legged Loved Ones (Part One)

In this series we will identify and discuss the top ten mushrooms that are poisonous to dogs and what to do if your dog decides to take a bite. There are few things more rewarding than the wagging tails and happy faces of our dear dogs when stimulating their senses and taking in new information. For the most part, a walk down the street or in the woods with Buddy is a stimulating, enjoyable, and safe experience, however as much as we adore and love to see those curious tails… Continued

Dog Bite Prevention Week!

As a certified dog bite prevention educator, I can tell you that dog bites do not just happen out of the blue as many seem to believe.   Behavior is Communication All behavior is designed to access something, avoid, or escape something. In applied behavior analysis we talk about behavior being anything we can observe that can be measured. The problem, when it comes to dog behavior, is a lack of human comprehension. Our understanding is limited and we miss the details, the communication signals. If humans could ask WHY… Continued

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs! We Love Them!

So, how do we help dogs navigate our human world?   When I go to see a client, I begin each session speaking about what it was like for me going to the zoo as a child.  The lion, the gorilla, all the inhabitants lived in cages.  As a result, they often displayed abnormal repetitive behaviors known as zoochosis, a form of psychosis that develops in animals held captive in zoos. These behaviors included pacing, bar biting, excessive licking just to name a few. I then move the conversation onto the happy fact that… Continued

Are You a Cat Person or a Dog Person?

How many times have we seen this question posted or have we been asked it ourselves?       Becoming a Dog Family In my own family my husband developed cat allergies as an adult. He once stopped to see what had been thrown out of the car in front of him on his way home on a cold dark night. It was a kitten. We named him Buddy and he was the sweetest little guy – followed us around purring, so happy to have been found!   Dave’s eyes… Continued

Let’s Talk About Our Dogs’ Feelings

Anthropomorphism, a word that I can’t even pronounce!! The New Oxford American Dictionary helps us out here: An-thro-po-mor-phism – the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal or object.    A Shift in Perspective You may have noticed recently that there has been a lot more talk about the welfare and “the feelings” of our dogs.  (Thank goodness!) Years ago, I volunteered at a shelter for a period of three years. I admit that I would sit in my car after leaving on those Fridays and cry! … Continued

Dog Parks, a Closer Look!

Everyone seems to get excited at the prospect of a new dog park arriving nearby. I get it! Our mind’s eye pictures the many dogs running, chasing and having a great time! We catch ourselves with a gleeful smile at the happiness this visit will bring for our own four-legged loved one.     Dog Park Perceptions vs. Reality The first dog park was opened in 1979 in Berkeley California. Since then they have continued to pop up across the country with a call from dog lovers that these locations… Continued

Let Pets Decide Whenever They Can

When waiting to cross the street with your dog, it’s nice to use the word, “Wait.” I say, “Sally wait. Let’s watch.” I want her to understand that we should check before we cross just like you would with a small child. HOWEVER, I don’t make her sit. The way she wants to wait is up to her. Sometimes she sits; sometimes she stands. If it seems like the wait is too long, she may even lay down. That is her choice. Sometimes we feel like we have to micromanage… Continued