Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Should you dress up your dog?

There are so many cute little dresses, suits, hats, tops, pants, boots, coats and other accessories for dogs. We dress them up like little dolls and parade them down the street. But what are your dogs thinking?

I was watching the news last night and they ran a story about the psychological effects of dressing up your dog. And it wasn't good. And I tried hunting down a link for it on the newscaster's web site but couldn't find any reference to the story anymore (unless I purchase yesterday's tape of the news).

But it seems that it's decidedly unhealthy for your pet to be dressed up and taken in public. I can understand that it's probably harder to run around freely in a little outfit as opposed to romping about "au naturel". But apparently it is also psychologically damaging to the dog. It seems they don't play with the same kind of abandon when they're dressed up, have less spunk and actually shy away from other dogs.

We have never dressed up our dogs. I've thought about buying little booties and coats in the winter to keep them warm on walks, but not for everyday. Since my dogs are boys, the idea of putting anything frilly and pretty on them has just never crossed my mind. And as for doggy tuxes and other "male outfits", I just never even thought about it. Yes, I've looked at dogs who are dressed up, pointed them out to my husband with a comment "awww...look at that!" but in the back of my mind I'd always be thinking how uncomfortable that poor little pooch must be.

Doggie clothes are a novelty, but they're made to satisfy the needs of us...humans. Nothing about it is for the dog. And I guess in the end you have to decide what is more important to you - your pet's comfort or your need for attention.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No more visits to Grandma's back yard

Every time we visit Grandma, we always take the boys so they can romp in her large, fenced yard. This was one thing they really loved and looked forward to in the summer. However, this year, all that changed.

Grandma's house shares a fence with four neighbors. Three of those people have dogs. Two of them own very large dogs. Our little guys like to bark at the other dogs and have no concept of the size issue...they think they're just as big as the other guy!

This year, we noticed the boards were starting to rot. In one case, two of them actually fell down because one of the large dogs jumped against it and knocked it right out. This happened while my boys were in the yard. I had to scoop them up pretty quickly and get them into the sunroom.

Unfortunately, Grandma does not like to part with money. She says incredulously "But the fence was new when we moved in!". What she is not understanding is that, after 23 years, it's time for a new fence. She also believes that her neighbors need to share in the cost of a new fence which is understandable. However, it's becoming very obvious that the neighbors don't want to part with a buck either, so they are at a standstill. The result is at this point, our little boys cannot go to Grandma's to run around the yard.

Anyone got a yard they can use?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The day that Squeaky lost his squeak

Bruiser loves his toys. There is actually a hierarchy of importance as far as the toys go. For the last while, purple Squeaky has been the "toy du jour" and Bruiser takes it everywhere with him. Rocki likes Squeaky when he feels compelled to tease his brother. Otherwise he couldn't give a rip about it.

So imagine the horror when Grandma, who is staying with us while she recovers from surgery, accidentally stepped on Squeaky and he lost his squeak.

Bruiser was beside himself. After giving Grandma the stink eye, he ran over to his precious little pet and tried to squeak it. Nothing. Grandma got "the look" another time and Bruiser tried to revive Squeaky. No deal. Squeaky squeaked no more.

Bruiser then decided to appeal to the "fixer of all things"...that would be me. He brought Squeaky to me and started to grunt. I picked up the toy and took it over to the counter where the light was better. Bruiser did not leave my side. After fiddling around with it, I realized the squeaker was simply stuck and squeezed it in another direction to get it going again. Problem solved! Squeaky got his squeak back. Bruiser was ecstatic, promptly grabbed his beloved pet and proceeded to run around the house at full speed with Squeaky firmly in his mouth.

Another day...another dilemma...another resolution. All's well in the house now.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A quick note on antibiotics....

I was a bit hesitant in giving antibiotics to my oldest when he had the ear infection because I know from my own experience how antibiotics can affect the body and possibly lead to other problems which, of course, would entail another visit to the vet and more medication to counteract the first one.

What had concerned me most is during the time he was taking the medication he didn't have the same spunk. He also didn't eat very much and seemed to sleep a lot. I also did some reading and, not unlike humans, I discovered that yogurt will help bring back the "good" bacteria that the antibiotics kill (along with the "bad" bacteria). So, after Bruiser was finally done taking the antibiotics, I'd give him a little bit of my yogurt when I had it in the morning. From the bottom of the cup, I'd dig out a bit on my spoon and hand it to him and he'd lick it off. Rocki, of course, was there as well. Can't give to one without giving to the other! Rocki didn't care for it, and neither did Bruiser, but it's almost as if he sensed he should have some and tried to eat it. He'd have the equivalent of about half a teaspoon in total. But this I hoped was enough to start building up the good bacteria again.

So, a few days later, it appears he's back to normal. He's not scratching at his ear and his brother's not trying to lick it for him. I'm still trying to give him a bit of yogurt in the morning, but since he's got that little "skip" to his step back, I think I can safely say that he's back to normal.