Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
On Soulmates, Squeaky toys and Quantum Physics
by Meg Trafford
I was anxious to read this book to review for my readers. I receive many books to review and am usually contacted by a publicist hired by the publisher but on this occasion had the opportunity to communicate with the author. Note to publicists, it may be a good idea for the author to send an old fashioned personal email to bloggers to review a book. That small, personal touch may put your book at the top of the list to review. Doesn’t guarantee a good review but motivates the process to begin sooner than later.
I totally enjoyed the brief emails with Meg Trafford and found her passionate and funny.
Meg’s book is about the love between a human and their beloved dog which most of us thankfully have experienced; the love, the exhaustion, the time, the adventures, the looks, the joy, the pain, the understanding and the knowing.
I got into the book very quickly which is a good sign as some books are not easy to plow through.
As a trainer, I found it interesting to read about her experiences training her dogs and championed her journey of trial and error and yearning to learn and understand what makes her dogs tick. From a professional perspective, I enjoyed reading that while she researched training techniques and attended classes she learned how individual each dog was and that not everything a dog does is to “get us” or is naughty due to noncompliance with our silly human rules. I enjoyed her humor and how it got her through the hiccups.
My only challenge with the book was an emotional one. We all know the joy of those first few days with a new puppy, the ups and downs on raising a pup, debating the theories of how to raise that new addition and the deep and loving bond that develops with this amazing species. We also learn as we watch our dogs age how to keep reality at bay trying not to think how quickly time flies. And, of course we all know we will eventually come face to face and heart to heart with the inevitable good bye.
The author’s journey with Woo brought up raw emotions of my own losses with my dream dogs and dream cat. I do my best to keep those emotions in check. So, rather than reading cover to cover, I needed to take frequent breaks when reaching the lumps in the throat parts of the book feeling down to my core the grief Meg experienced with her loss. Like Meg, I feel am a lucky person to have experienced and continue to experience the myriad of emotions dogs bring to the heart and the gift they bring to the human soul. Thank DOG for my dogs and all they have taught me.
Meg, thank you for sharing your love story with Woo.
A conversation with Woo is a book to read with your dog in your lap and if she or he doesn’t fit, at least next to you.
Meg’s book is self published so here is a link: http://www.conversationswithwoo.com/about-the-book.html
CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has voluntarily recalled specific lots of dry pet food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. These lots were distributed in the United States and represent roughly one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of annual production. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
This issue is limited to the specific dry pet food lot codes listed below. This affects roughly one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of total annual production. The affected product was distributed to select retailers across the United States. These products were made during a 10-day window at a single manufacturing site. P&G’s routine testing determined that some products made during this timeframe have the potential for Salmonella contamination. As a precautionary measure, P&G is recalling the potentially impacted products made during this timeframe. No other dry dog food, dry cat food, dog or cat canned wet food, biscuits/treats or supplements are affected by this announcement.
P&G is retrieving these products as a precautionary measure. Consumers who purchased a product listed below should stop using the product and discard it and contact P&G toll-free at 800-208-0172 (Monday – Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM ET), or via website at www.iams.com or www.eukanuba.com. Media Contact: Jason Taylor, 513-622-1111.
Products affected by this announcement:
Procter & Gamble P&G Consumer Relations, 800-208-0172
Link to Eukanuba Recall notification: http://www.eukanuba.com/en-US/SpecialAnnouncement.pdf
Link to Iams Dog Food Recall notification: http://www.iams.com/en_us/data_root/_pdf/8-14-13%20Iams%20Product%20Information%20Dog.pdf
Link to Iams Cat Food Recall notification: http://www.iams.com/en_us/data_root/_pdf/8-14-13%20Iams%20Product%20Information%20Cat.pdf
Linda Lauren, Pet Psychic
I received this blog and asked to repost so here it is. My inbox is usually quite full of email that needs daily scrutinizing with all the requests from authors or their PR agents, from creative inventors of new innovative products, nonprofits looking for help, pet related businesses looking for exposure, an endorsement and a free mention on my blogs. Although timely to sleuth through it all some requests are worth the effort and I enjoy sharing the information with my readers.
Whether you are a believer or not in pet psychics I found Linda’s general advice good so agreed to repost.
Here is the blog from Linda Lauren and some comments I decided to include:
The more I work with pets and their owners, the more I realize how out of touch so many people are with the concept of communication with them. There are two basic forms: one is verbal and/or through command; the other is psychic and telepathic in nature. When you are communicating with your pet telepathically, you are creating a direct dialog that will help to convey the necessary information between you.
In my experience, when the owner taps into the energy of their pet they are able to connect the dots to better understand their wants and needs.
Here are three things to keep in mind to help bring awareness to your communication:
1. Pay attention to your pet’s physical mannerisms, especially during reprimand. If your pet is squinting his/her eyes during a correction in behavior, that is a sign of fear and indicates your pet may have been previously abused. This knowledge will help you to avoid the triggers that create fear for them.
My comment: Squinting may be a sign the animal has been hit and is waiting for a strike, or the animal is sensitive to loud or scary sounds from someone screaming. People do get incredibly frustrated with pets (and children) and sometimes take correction or punishment to a level they later regret.
2. If you have a pet that is walked on a leash, then please be aware that it is safer to train your pet to walk beside you or slightly in front of you and to your right or left side, never behind you. I have seen too many injuries that could have been avoided if the owner was more aware of the leash. That leash is your lifeline to your pet and your need to pay attention and use it properly. It’s worth the payment of lessons with a good trainer.
My comment: I agree. Yesterday at a very crowded pet event, a woman was not paying attention to her Westie trailing behind her and as the woman walked towards vendors with an eye on all the freebies, the dog was being pulled and almost dragged behind her. She didn’t notice the leash was caught under the dog’s armpit and that dog’s front leg was stretched so far up and out we thought it was going to snap off. She was advised of this and untangled the leash.
3. Finally, we come to sound. Give yourself and your pet time to develop a deeper connection by tuning into the sounds they make and why they make them. What does your pet sound like when happy or sad or in pain? That information is powerful because it is one of the most important ways your pet communicates with you. Tune in and discover what they are really conveying to you.
My comment: In addition, become aware of your pet’s general behavior. Changes in behavior, eating habits even play may be a sign something is wrong. Good idea to be watchful and if in doubt a Vet visit may be in order
There is, indeed, a great deal you and your pet can “converse” about to form a communication bond. Be open, accepting and receptive to them, and ask them questions to illicit response. You can feel free to enjoy the conversations with your pet, but remember that it’s just as important to have his/her feedback if you wish to have a long, happy life together.
Learn More About the Ferret at Denny’s Pet World’s Anniversary Sale Today
I met this sweet Ferret at Denny’s Pet World’s Anniversary sale. Any animal that finds its way to a pet store for sale to the public may find its way to a shelter after the novelty wears off or medical problems develop. This happens frequently to the Ferret as they seem to be an impulse purchase. Denny’s Pet World does not sell Ferrets.
Ferrets are active, inquisitive, clever animals that need to be purchased or adopted by people who will educate themselves about this animal. Like other animals, each Ferret has its own unique personality.
For more information and an education, Washington Ferret Rescue and Shelter a 501eC non-profit organization should be your first stop. This organization is a no kill shelter. Volunteers for this organization are available to answer your questions.
Come by, bring the family dog, amazing sales throughout the store at Denny’s Pet World today for the fabulous anniversary sale. Ends today. Always a fun event. www.dennyspetworld.com
If You Missed it Today Come by Tomorrow, Store opens at 10:00 a.m.
Today was super busy at this popular event. Free samples of pet food from the vendors wet the whistle of the crowd before shoppers grabbed a cart to load up on pet food. Buy one bag get second bag 1/2 off.
Perfect weather to get out and about with the family dog.
Lots of friends came by, with and without dogs, former clients, people interested in training or just to say “woof”
Always fun to see the same faces year after year and looking forward to tomorrow.
Sale continues tomorrow, Sunday the 11th at 10a.m.
When: Saturday Aug. 10, starting at 9am Sunday Aug. 11, starting at 10am
Where: 12534 120th Ave NE
Totem Lake Mall
Kirkland, WA 98034
Come join the fun, talk with vendors, come see me if you have a training question or just want to bring your dog by to say woof.
Denny’s loves their customers and it seems as if the feeling is mutual. Everyone loves this sale.
c Diane Rich 2013
by Gwen Cooper
When I was asked to write a review on this book, Love Saves the Day, I scanned through an overview on this book and was motivated to read it and write a review even though the main player was a cat and this is a dog blog.
Love Saves the Day was written by New York Times bestselling author, Gwen Cooper, author of Homer’s Odyssey. I was immediately swept into the story by the calm, honest and loving Prudence, a rescued tabby that made observations about humans, herself, and her life. She enlightened, entertained and educated the reader by her comments throughout the book. I found her absolutely charming and she made me miss my wondercat, Kiddo even more than I already do.
Prudence tries to make sense of humans and poses interesting questions as to why we do the things we do. In her thoughtful way she explains cat behavior to the reader as she takes us through the life she cherished with her favorite human who rescued her. After losing her lifeline, her only human who loved her she tried to understand the new scary world she entered with a new family. Prudence noticed her new family didn’t understand cats and she wasn’t sure if they could be trained but was hoping it would work out.
If anyone is owned by a cat and is scratching their own head on how cats tick, this book may help put things into perspective. Prudence will help you understand cats a little bit better.
The author includes humor from Prudence’s perspective including this feline’s take on the noisy and frightening self cleaning litterbox which this intelligent cat decided to avoid at all costs. The insight from Prudence’s perspective may help cat people understand why cats don’t always take to this mechanized monster and may seek out a more sensible location to do their business.
The book is above love, connection, loyalty, grief, relationships and the healing of both the human and feline heart. Love Saves the Day is an easy read and I think cat lovers will enjoy it. Prudence, I am in love with you.
Thunderleash and Monster Walker
I am always on the lookout for the next no pull product that may make it easier and safer for an owner to walk the family dog. I was given these 2 leashes to try out for a review.
Do I believe in teaching the dog to walk nicely on the leash wearing a regular collar or harness? Of course and include demonstration and training for both ends of the leash to help the human achieve this goal in real world situations.
Do owners practice? Some absolutely yes and others, well, you know the saying you can lead a horse to water blah blah blah
Some owners with challenging dogs don’t want to practice and just hope or even pray the dog improves with time. Sorry to say without practice all one will usually hear is tick tock as time continues on as the dog doesn’t improve on its own
In the real world of pet parenting many owners just want a quick fix for this normal canine conundrum and lose patience and the motivation to practice. So, rather than a pet parent not wanting to walk the family dog due to being pulled down the street, finding a product that helps keep a dog under control for daily walks is the next best option.
I have experimented with just about every type of harness and collar on the market all with stated promises on the packaging and product’s website to manage a canine’s leash pulling episodes. I have yet to find a no pull product that is a magic bullet for the power puller so was anxious to try out these products.
c Diane Rich 2013 Meet Nitro
This product comes from the company that made the Thundershirt which was created to manage a dog’s anxiety. The company has changed their name to Thunderworks as their line of products is expanding such as this leash.
The Thunderleash is very easy to put on unlike many no pull harnesses. The innovative hardware easily converts from a leash to a no pull type harness. The Thunderleash uses the dog’s collar for the attachment so if your dog has any problems with its trachea or you don’t want any pressure at all on the dog’s neck pass on the Thunderleash. The leash wraps around the dog’s torso applying mild pressure around the torso if the dog pulls. It is designed to put less pressure at the dog’s throat.
The company states that the safety buckle does not allow it to over tighten or put pressure on the dog’s joints. The leash is nylon and ¾” wide with the full length measuring 6 feet. The handle is padded.
1.Easy to put on the dog
2.Width of the leash is spot on
3. Successful result for the mild to moderate puller
1. The leash needs to be adjusted to the dog to prevent moving around the dog’s torso
2. Variable success for the power puller.
Many determined dogs get used to the pressure and continue to pull
I tried this product on several dogs that were not used to any type of harness and a couple dogs took longer to tolerate something around their chest and until distracted just stood still. They did get used to it however.
The padded handle is comfortable but many people hold a leash at the handle with one hand and hold the leash itself with the other hand. My preference for leash material is quality leather as I find nylon uncomfortable to hold if a dog pulls but I understand leather would increase the cost. .
There is a 100% manufacturer’s satisfaction guarantee. Sizes range from small: 12-25lbs and large which they factor at over 25lbs. The Thunderleash retails for $29.95
The Monster Walker was developed to help curb a dog’s desire to pull on the leash without putting added pressure on the dog’s neck. When the dog pulls, there is a gentle pressure from the belly strap around the tummy. The difference with this leash and the other one I reviewed is that this leash fits around the belly, not the torso.
Monster walker advertises this leash system as a no-choke design. This leash was quite simple to set up and is easier than many of the no pull harnesses on the market today.
After testing this leash on a few dogs found it may be better suited for dogs that are built with a tuck up vs. dogs built more square. The tuck up behind the dog’s rib cage can be seen on a Vizsla, Doberman, or Weimeraner and that tuck helps keep the belly band in place a bit better but the leash still tends to ride up from the groin area to the dog’s rib cage.
Monster Walker offers two sizes: Mini (less than 20 lbs) and Large (over 20 lbs) and comes in three designer colors. The Monster leash unassembled is 5ft 8 in long and when assembled is anywhere for 2 to 4 feet depending upon the size of the dog
1. Pressure is somewhat limited to the belly area vs the joints
2. Easy to assemble
3. May be good for the mild to moderate puller
1. There may be slight pressure transferred to the throat as the leash attaches to the collar
2. Dogs may not like the feel of something around their belly
3. The protective fabric created to make the band under the belly more comfortable is free flowing over the leash and moves around. So when the dog moves this fabric shifts up to the dog’s sides and constantly needed readjusting. This occurred on every test dog
Monster Walker retails for $24.99
Nitro’s owner helped me with this review by trying out both leashes on her dog. She liked both leashes but preferred the Thunderleash to the Monster Walker and I agreed.
I give the inventors of both these products my compliments. Any product that can make it easier for someone who wants to walk the family dog but the dog pulls, and training is not likely going to happen, I would suggest giving either one of these leashes a try.