Tag: pet fun

Adopt happiness

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” – Gabriel Garcí a Márquez

Sydney on beachWhat is happiness?

Your happiness may not include dogs, but mine does. Each dog I adopted gave me armfuls of doggie joy. When we went to a beach with a new dog, what a glorious time we shared. This photograph above, taken on a winter afternoon at an empty beach, shows our beloved Sydney. We adopted him at the Petaluma Animal Shelter, where he earned the nickname “Sid Vicious” for biting and chewing on everyone’s hands. I guess he got sold to early and never learned not to bite from his mother dog. Sydney looks pretty cute for twelve years old, right? Nothing ended up being wrong with any of the five dogs we adopted. They adjusted quickly to our family, our house rules and lived healthy and happy lives.

First time we unloaded Sydney at the county beach, he looked at me as if to say, “All this for me? Really? Oh, wow! Oh, goody goody.”

A Canine woof and “WOW!”

What wild happiness each dog showed by snuffling, listening, digging, running and when completely tired out, napping beside us in the sun. On a super hot day, I took this photograph of Sydney, stretched in the shadow of Marc’s leg. Sydney glows with happiness. Can you see it?

Now I wish I had a video of each newly adopted dog, discovering the beach.

All the dogs I adopted and raised previous families + sad stories full of loss. But each dog came with an open heart and loved us so completely. As always, each dog seemed beside him or herself, at first visit to the beach. Dog lovers know that twitching, wiggling, sniffing madly equals an excited dog. That happens to be one of my all time favorite doggie behaviors, ENTHUSIASTIC whole-hearted excitement.

Hey, come on down the water's fine
Being on Pacific Coastal Beaches = happiness
California Beaches

Know before you go. No dogs allowed on many California State Park Beaches!

We must protect wild seals, the intertidal zone and shore birds.  The one legal dog beach we visit has a dangerous undertow. So the leash serves as a protection for dogs who love to swim.

Most California beaches stay open year round, and our winters are often warm. Lucky me, I lived for a time in Santa Cruz, California and discovered the warm El Nino and La Nina currents. Best time to wade and relax for us came at midday in winter. I often got a suntan on Christmas or New Years Day.

Dogs on leash only!

We do have a local fall lagoon Water Bark event when dogs and their people get to play

Wet & happy dogs
Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park

a fresh water lagoon. The sand and water there cannot be beat. We take Sydney to these weekend events. The entry fee set at $3 includes a doggie shower station. Plus a small dogs only play zone, where Sydney feels safe and enjoys going nose to nose with dog’s his size. The Spring Lake Regional Park also makes for good kayaking.

October is adopt a dog month, so please give your local shelters a shout out on blogs, social media and word of mouth.

Thanks a bunch for reading, sharing and leaving a comment.

Deborah Taylor-French

Please read and share my post, “Pet Stores sell 99% puppy mill dogs.”

Wordless Wednesday
Blog Paws Blog Hop

This is a Blog Paws Wordless Wednesday so please visit the other pet bloggers and get them encouragement for being the change for pets.

Best Mutt in the World: Photo Friday

By Deborah Taylor-French

A dog can win your heart. A person can win your heart, but a dog must keep it. Dogs’ lives depend on us. They need us for shelter, food, fun and healthy exercise.

Dog lovers come in at least two camps

One camp  treats dogs like objects, dogs exist to be bred, shown, work for people, perform tricks, and learn and demonstrate model behavior.

One camp thinks dogs like people should be loved, cared for and praised for themselves. This humane group believes dogs need us as much as we need them.

Should Dogs Be Bred for Beauty?

Praising adorable purebred puppies and dogs puts them into a Miss or Mr. Universe dog show pitting ideal standards. This kind of cultural dog show thinking causes over-breeding and inbreeding. Several popular dog breeds require all puppies being delivered under surgery at veterinarian hospitals. I think this practice is harmful to dogs.

Many purebred puppies die in their first few weeks because of inbreed weaknesses.

Mutt Lovers Unite

This Photo Friday looks at dogs as being unique, never to be repeated individuals.

In praise of mutts, please send your mutt photographs. I want a big collection to publish in the next few months. Comment on this post about where you found your mutt and tell me what you love about your dog’s personality.

Do You Have a Mutt Full of Personality?

Do you have one?

I took these photographs of my friend’s adopted little guy, Toby. Of course, Toby has a high opinion of himself and a huge personality.

Toby seems to love everybody in the neighborhood, man or beast. Well, except for cats.

Mom, what can I do? I can help, really.
Mom, what can I do? I can help, really.

I hope to post a video or two of Toby on my YouTube channel soon.

Imagine me twice as cute
Why did we stop walking?

Please tell me your favorite mutt’s name, what makes him or her special and why your mutt should win a basket of healthy goodies from Dog Leader Mysteries.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Nationwide, you and your mutt can make a difference walking for a good cause. Check out how at the Bark Magizine Strut Your Mutt-A Cause to Walk For

Happiness Is a Wet Dog: Photo Friday

Here is a cool one for your weekend, spaniels and mutts plunging for a frisbee.

Not one of us two-legged types tested the chilly spring waters this day. Most dog lovers wore big smiles keeping tabs on the fun jumping and splashing from a beyond the splash-zone.

Happiness is a wet dog

If you have a water dog, tell me what his or her favorite water sport is. I have watched Labrador’s and Jack Russell’s race off planks, shooting for the long jump. I admit going a bit green watching hounds swimming the Pacific surf for their prize stick.

The closest Sydney gets to water is eating mud.

Fun Out A Window: Photo Friday

Dogs, like people, love travel.

Sniff a salt sea breeze, go roll in fresh-powdered snow or tromp into a friend’s home with a blazing fire and hot apple cider simmering on the stove, all lift our spirits.

No matter what day it is, we love to go. And so do our dogs.

Winter holiday season may only offer you a long weekend, not an entire vacation. My plans fit this small time frame. Still, I hope to get out to a new park, visit a beach or hunt up a dear friend to chat with. And, of course, bring along my dog.

The Nose Knows

I loved finding this sight for free photos. Check out www.deshow.net for FreePictures

Photo credit: at http://www.deshow.net/animal/fun-animals-742.html#pic

Why Dogs Love People Who Click

Loving people comes naturally to dogs. Dogs love us.

People who know dogs, give their dogs more than love.

A few simple daily activities will help your dog love and live long.

After reading dozens and dozens of books on dogs, a simple truth needs saying.

Dogs need walks. On that, most dog lovers agree.

My own dogs have all lived long and healthy lives. I feel grateful for each dog’s alert, playful and affectionate nature. Pizza, Buttons, Dawn, Nabisco and Sydney have all lavished me with love. And I know I have taken more walks and tried more games, than if I had not raised all these dogs.

  1. Dogs need sensory games and play, different kinds depending on fitness level, age and personality. Scent work, dog agility, dancing with dogs or long walks in new places, all give dogs welcome challenges and mental activity.
  2. Even small dogs, that are often treated like stuffed animals made for hugging and petting, need physical and mental activity. Some love toys, some love socializing with other dogs, and others love to go for rides in a car.
  3. Dogs need structure. Give your dog simple rules to follow. Make most of your dog’s days predictable. Give meals, walks, and naps on a dependable schedule.

For those of you who want to know about clicker training with your dog, this post is for you. Clickers work because they provide a clear marker. You only click when your dog does something you want him to do. Check out my other post on Common Sense in Dog Training.

You click (at first giving treats for each click) and your dog learns something wonderful has just happened. Now he will look to you for rewards. He will pay attention when you catch him doing something right and tell him by clicking. After a few days,  your dog will instantly know when he or she is doing something you like.

Totally win/win.

Use a clicker like a building block. Load your dog’s success from simple “feel good” experiences to more challenging activities. Teach simple tasks first.

Once your dog knows basic commands, start teaching your dog complex behaviors. If you want to work toward more than sit, stay, and come, clicker training can help.

This positive reinforcement method works well for families that share a dog. All agree on behaviors to encourage. Then as each family member uses a clicker and the same cue words, soon that dog will know how to please his whole family.

No Junk Food for This Little Guy

More than teaching tricks and obedience, clicker training can help you keep your dog healthy. Clicker training helps you encourage behaviors when you want your pet to do something cross a room or at the opposite end of a backyard. Your click reinforces instantly all positive behaviors your dog does at a distance.

Two life saving commands you can teach with clicker training.

  • Teach your dog to “wait.”
  • Teach your dog to “leave it”

Practice “wait” everyday at doorways, gates and before your dog gets in or out of your car. This simple command requires your dog to stop walking or running and wait for you. No more running out the door, jumping out of the car, or running into a street.

“Leave it” warns your dog off of eating anything he is about to chomp on. Use it in your kitchen and at public places where fast foods land on sidewalks. Practice “leave it” with a small unopened bag of cookies or snacks. Always, instantly reward with a click and treat when your dog stops sniffing or mouthing the item. Never use your dog’s toys or treats as bait, only things you want him to drop or avoid.

Have you ever tried clicker training?

What games does your dog love to play?

Check out this link to clicker training. http://youtu.be/JYyZeTNJfm4