Are your dogs “spoiled’? How would you describe a spoiled dog anyway? I know that my dogs most definitely enjoy more privileges than a lot of other dogs, they’re allowed on the furniture (and before you ask, I’m a clean freak), they come along on family vacations and frankly, we’ve made more than a few detours on those vacations just because there was something I thought the dogs would enjoy seeing or doing.

Excessive? I’m sure many of you would say so, but for us, it’s just a part of the norm. However, and this is a big however, my dogs are trained, polite and almost unfailingly obedient. They eat the best quality food that I can afford, they have regular veterinary care, I groom them regularly and, as I’ve written about before, brush their teeth every night. While this also may seem excessive to some, it is in fact merely what I consider my responsibility to them; to keep them healthy. If your dog only sleeps on the floor or maybe has a cozy dog bed in your kitchen, as well as everything he or she needs to be a happy, healthy member of your family, are you neglecting them? No more than I am spoiling mine. Some might like to buy the finest in designer dog accessories; some might only have an old rope for a leash. As long as you make them a part of our pack, as long as they have what they need physically and emotionally, it doesn’t matter if they have a fancy dog bowl or not. Just as long as it’s regularly filled, you are your dog’s person and they are your very best friend; spoiled or not.

Best dog beds

Tres and the pony Imp, waiting for treats.

 

Dogs and Cars

Dog Love Car

Dog Love Car

Have you ever noticed that there’s a universal dog call? It’s not a whistle, or even a can opening, it’s the well-known phrase; “wanna go for a ride”? Across the board, I’ve rarely seen it not work & that’s a VERY important fact if you happen to rescue loose dogs off of highways a lot, which I do.

I’ve been faced with some very skittish pups in some very dangerous places, trying to get the to come for a treat just so I can get them away from traffic. It can be scary as hell & it’s rarely as easy as I’d like it to be. However, one very early morning, on my way to teach an EMS class, I passed a huge dog running up the highway the opposite direction. Lucky day, I thought because it was a weekend & there really wasn’t another car anywhere. So I made a u-turn, drove a hundred yards past the dog & pulled over with treats in hand. This poor. huge fellow was completely panicked; you know the look, just in survival mode & ready to plow through me just so he could keep running, it just about broke my heart. He passed my car, I jumped in & pulled ahead & tried it all over again without luck. Being a firm believer in Einstein’s definition of crazy, I used my serious voice to my dogs riding along with me (to keep them in the back seat), pulled up next to the dog, opened my door & said, “wanna go for a ride”? Then “get in the car”. And you’ll never guess what happened next; yep, I was flattened by 120 lbs of scared dog, leaping across my lap & settling into the front seat. He was so tall that his head pushed up against my car’s ceiling & so scared that the whole car shook along with him, but he was safe! I got his owner’s number from his collar (thank you for being a saavy dog owner), found his worried-sick family & delivered him to them in just a few minutes. They told me that he had run off after a fox the night before & here’s the interesting part; he lived a good 8 miles in the opposite direction in which he’d been traveling. So much for all those pets you here about making their way across 5oo miles to their old home, I think they are the rare exception.

With all the great precautions a responsible dog owner can take; micro-chips, collars & up to date tags with phone numbers, they still have to be safely caught for someone to get them home. Scary huh? Another thing we see a lot in my area are people vacationing with their pets without any tags or ID, or if they do have tags, the phone number doesn’t have an area code.

So please do your best not to have your pet wander but always be prepared for the chance that they will & make it as easy as possible to get them home to their cozy pet beds & loving family.