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It’s Me, Suzie (with Help from My “Mommy”)

by bquick

Suzie

Hi, Everyone!

Since I’m a dog, I am having some help with what I want to tell you.  My “Mommy” can use the computer, and I can’t, so she is typing this for me.

Mommy and Daddy are so happy about the rain that we’ve had the last few days.  I’m not nearly as happy as they are!  When I have to go to the bathroom, I have to go outside and stand in the rain, and I REALLY don’t like that.  In fact, I try not to eat or drink much when it’s raining, because then I can wait longer before I have to go outside.  Daddy takes me out, but he has a jacket and hat he puts on before we go out the door.  I go out and get all wet, then he does dry me off with my towel, and unless it’s really pouring, I do get pretty dry.  But — I still don’t like the rain!!

When it rains, we don’t get to go on a walk, and I love walks!  It’s been too many days now that we couldn’t walk because of the wet, cold rain.  I hope it quits pretty soon!  The other time we can’t walk is in the summer when it gets too hot.  One day the street burned my feet, so Mommy told Daddy he couldn’t take me for a walk when it’s really hot.  This year we didn’t have any rain for a long time, and it wasn’t that hot, so we got to go on two walks some days.  I loved that!

Mommy said someone must have dumped a cat here because now a cat greets me every time I go out and when I come in.  I tried to get the cat to play one day, and did my little “play dance,” but the cat just meowed loudly at me and wouldn’t play with me.  I tried another time, and the silly cat just laid there all curled up and wouldn’t even look at me.  Some days the cat and I touch noses as I go by, but not that day.  I might be eleven and a half years old, but I still like to play!  I can’t play as long at a time as I used to, but it’s still fun to run and play.  I grab a ball or toy and run through the house.  If I lose the ball or toy in one of the rooms that’s dark, I come back and look at Mommy and Daddy and they will usually help me find it.

I used to go to work at the church with Mommy and Daddy, but when Daddy quit working, now I stay home with him.  Mommy still goes to work, and Daddy and I went to work with her a couple of days last week.  It had been a long time since I got to do that!   I was soooo happy!!  When I saw Daddy packing up my bed and bowl, I couldn’t believe it at first, but then I just knew we were going to do something FUN so I really got excited!!  I got to see some of the people I used to see, and it was great because they all petted me!  I loved that!

Boy, a few minutes ago I got kind of nervous and came and stood closer to Mommy.  There was such a big sound from outdoors, I wasn’t sure whether I should be scared or what.  Mommy said it is just raining really hard right now and it’s okay, so I laid down close to her.  I hope that rain stops sometime soon because I may need to go outside again before too long.  When it rains really hard, my towel doesn’t get me very dry, and I don’t like being cold and wet!

Well, Mommy said I have to say goodbye now.  Maybe she will help me write again sometime soon.  Now — time for a nap.


More About Suzie!

by bquick

Suzie

SUZIE – our loving, wonderful canine friend, housemate, and fun-loving dog!  At about eleven and a half years old, she is not able to run up and down the hall in our home as many times now, but can still, occasionally, manage a couple of trips to the bedroom and back to the living room all at a fast-paced run.  She loves entertaining us, in the evening especially.  She will play with a toy or ball in the living room first, then suddenly gets inspired to take off to the bedroom at the other end of our mobile home.  After a couple of times, she then has to take a little rest.

When I’m home Suzie comes to me and wants me to tell my husband that she wants to go out.  She is so funny, “talking” to me and throwing her head around toward him.  We told her she should say “out” so now she yawns and ends with “ow” and when we say, “Do you have to go out?” she answers with “mmm” or sometimes “yah” and then looks very proud of her accomplishment.  There are times she wants out, and then as soon as my husband picks up her leash, she goes over and starts eating her food.  However, he has to keep the leash with him or she waits until he does have it before finishing eating.  She has us trained very well!  Haha!

Someone has “dumped” a cat and it has decided to live under our mobile — but not by our choice!  We are “dog people” and not “cat people” but we are feeding it until we can find it a home of its own.  When Suzie is taken out to go for a walk or to go potty, the cat is waiting by the door and the two “kiss” as Suzie comes out and goes down the steps.  When we got Suzie, at about age 2, she lived with a cat and another dog, and evidently the cat has lived with a dog at some time.  It seems to be a  well-behaved cat, so we hope to find someone who wants it soon.

Sometimes Suzie will try to “talk” and tell us something, but we can’t always figure out just what she is telling us.  She will keep trying and sometimes we guess the right thing and she is so happy!  She has always been very talkative.  In fact, her first visit to the vet, she had to have a shot, and sort of grumbled under her breath to me.  The vet was startled and asked if she was growling, but I reassured her that Suzie was just “complaining” to me.  However, when Suzie plays, she does growl, sometimes sounding fierce, as part of her play.  She will have a ball or other toy between her paws, let go of it, then grab the ball/toy and growl if we act like we are going to come and get it.  She has fun playing like that.  She is a pretty aggressive chewer on rugged toys, but enjoys squeaky toys and treats them much more gently.  She will go to her toy box and check over the toys until she finds just the right one to play with, and then pick it out from among all of her toys.  She keeps a few favorites just inside the bedroom door for mornings, and if they are put into the toy box, will retrieve them and put them back in the bedroom.

I find it so interesting the way our dogs over the years think so differently about things.  In many ways we have found that Suzie seems to think and analyze things much more than our other dogs did.  She also understands much more of what we tell her, and really gets our pattern of living down.  The days I work, Suzie knows what time I usually come home, and my husband said that she gets a little concerned if I am late some days.  Mornings she hears the alarm clock’s  tiny click before it starts with a very soft ring.  She jingles the tags on her collar before the alarm really gets loud enough to wake us, so she is our morning “alarm.”  Haha!  It doesn’t even matter to her when our schedule changes day by day, she is just quiet but ready for whatever time our clock is set to ring.

I’m sure you can’t tell that Suzie is much loved!  Haha!


Another of Our Past Dogs — We Named Her Buffy!

by bquick
imagesCAFO3T6E

This picture looks just like Buffy.

When we got Buffy, we were told by her previous owner that they couldn’t keep her as they were keeping one of her male offspring, so they needed to let her go.  They said that Buffy (I don’t remember what they had named her before we got her) had started running with a pack of dogs through the orchards near their home, so they felt it was time to find her a new home. That was fine with us!

Buffy came to live with us when our daughter was in her early teens.  She wanted Buffy to be “her Dog.”  That lasted a very short time, as she was a busy girl with several friends and they all kept busy together.  Lauri, our daughter, began finding less and less time to spend with Buffy.  Oh, not that she ignored Buffy, she was just busy or gone a lot of the time.  Between school and friends, she really kept busy!  So, Buffy hung out more and more with me and my husband.  Lauri was disappointed, but didn’t spend too much time worrying about it, as I remember.

Early on, our vet commented that Buffy had been abused in her past as her nose was crooked, sort of pointed a little off to one side.  He felt Buffy had been hit or kicked to cause such a permanent injury.  Buffy seemed fine with anything we did though, and until the vet pointed out her nose to us, we really hadn’t noticed that it was crooked.  The only sensitivity that Buffy seemed to have, was when one of the other vets in the office tried to pick her up by the back of her neck.  She would scream in pain or fright, we weren’t ever sure which.

Buffy had some strange, little, I guess I would call them “habits.”  If any male, young or old, came to our house, she would bark loudly and rather viciously if they were wearing a hat of any kind.  We found that out when one of our son’s friends came over wearing a hat, and she only stopped barking when he took the hat off.  Another strange quirk, she would bring “presents” on our back deck, I guess for us.  We weren’t sure.  Her “presents” were dead gophers or moles.  My husband would use the shovel to put them into the trash can.  One time when he picked up the “dead” animal, it suddenly sprang to life, really startling him and Buffy!  We guess it was only playing like it was dead.

We had three steps going down from the deck into the yard, and Buffy loved taking a running jump over the steps, both up and down, and could not be stopped from doing that.  One day she went running and leaped over the steps, but evidently she landed wrong and broke her front leg at the shoulder.  We took her to the vet’s office, and since we just didn’t have $600+ to have surgery on her leg, they wrapped and immobilized it with heavy, thick bandaging.  She never let that injury stop her from her enjoyment of life though.  Sadly, just as her leg was healed, she was diagnosed with heart fibrillation and had to be put down.  She had been a fun part of our lives, but that fun ended too soon!


Our Daughter and Our Dog – When They Were Young!

by bquick

happy-dog-owner1-300x225-1When our daughter was maybe a couple of years old and our son was about five, we had a gray miniature poodle who we named GiGi.  GiGi was a smart dog!  She would run to the door and bark when someone rang the doorbell, and all I had to do was point at her and quietly say “enough” and she would quit barking and then I could answer the door in peace.  She was so cute and fun to have as part of our family!

I remember one time when we had taken our kids to get ice cream cones, and GiGi was in the car with us.  We all sat in the car eating our ice cream cones, and a few minutes later our son called our attention to our daughter.  She was eating a little ice cream and then offering the cone to GiGi to take a lick of ice cream too.  We told her that she really shouldn’t do that, but she was enjoying sharing so much that she didn’t want to stop.  I’m sure GiGi also didn’t want her to stop.  They both survived the incident, happily!

GiGi also rode with us when we went on a day trip in the car and was so good on the ride.  She just loved being with all of us, no matter what we were doing.  We bought a dog clipper which I used to keep her hair trimmed as it seemed to grow very fast.  It was so curly that it was very hard to keep it decent if it got very long, so it was much better to keep it trimmed, not too short though, just short enough to be able to brush through the curly hair.

Our daughter in particular loved how GiGi would follow her around the house and loved to sit and be petted by her.  Both of them were content to spend some time each day or evening together, enjoying the time they spent with each other.  In fact, I think GiGi slept in our daughter’s room at night too.  (It’s been a long time ago now, but to the best of my memory, that’s where she spent her nights.)

After many years at a couple of our homes, and a couple of moves, I haven’t found any pictures of GiGi, but the picture that was placed on my website, reminded me so much of our ice cream cone incident, that I feel that is the best picture to use here too!


Dog Doors — Show Them How to Use It!

by bquick

images[5]Early in our marriage, we both wanted to have a dog.  Our first dog was a black dog with semi-long hair.  We had no idea of breed, but my guess is totally a mixture of breeds. We named him Inky.

When Christmas came, we taught Inky to sit and beg, which he did so well!  He sat right on his rear end, with his front paws bent at the “wrists” and seemed to instinctively know that would bring him a treat.  About that same time he began “talking” and what we both heard was, “I want my mama.”  If we would repeat those words he would say that again, over and over.  Others who heard him could hear those words too, so it wasn’t just our imagination.  Haha!  He loved performing for everyone with the begging and talking.  He even got his picture and a write-up in the local paper, with him sitting up and begging in front of an imitation fireplace, and the story told about his talking.

We lived in a rented little house behind the owner’s larger, nicer home.  We had a screened, covered porch which housed our washer and dryer.  We asked the owner if we could cut a hole in the one side and make a dog door so Inky could go in and out to our fenced yard.  The owner agreed, so my husband went about fixing up a dog door for Inky.  We had a thin, lightweight piece of wood for the door, with hinges at the top.  At that time we had not found dog doors in our local stores, so we did the best we could.  Then came the challenging part — how to teach Inky to go in and out the door.  We were young and my husband decided after trying coaxing, he needed to show Inky how to use the door.  So, as Inky and I watched, he crawled out the dog door and back in a few times, as he coaxed Inky to follow, which Inky finally did!  Inky loved his new found freedom!

Later, after moving to a different home, we adopted our infant son, Danny.  At first Danny slept in our room, but as he got a little older, we moved him into the other bedroom.  Then Inky decided that he was in charge of being the watch-guard for Danny, and he took up residence under the crib whenever Danny was in there.  It worked out quite well most of the time, however, when a person Inky didn’t know came one day, he was bound that stranger wasn’t going to harm “his baby.”  Instead of the playful, happy dog he normally was, he decided his duty was to protect Danny, which he did very well!  We finally were able to calm him down enough that he let our visitor look at Danny at least.  So all ended well that day.

P.S.  We later learned that treats worked just as well for teaching a dog how to use a dog door (rather than having to climb through it).  You first hold the door wide open, with the door toward you, and with the dog on the other side of it and coax them to come through.  Then hold it a little less open for the next few times.  Then try letting it hang closed, coax the dog to come to you by pushing the door themselves.  If not, try holding it a little open again and coax them to come through it.  After a few tries, they will usually realize they can do this themselves, and of course, then you heap praise on them plus give them a treat.


Our Dog, Suzie!

by bquick

SuzieOur dog, Suzie, is our special friend and a member of our family.  We first met her about 9 1/2 years ago, soon after our previous dog, Goldie, had to be put down when she became too weakened by cancer and no longer had quality of life.  We suffered her loss for about three weeks, and my husband and I both knew we needed to find a new dog to fill the emptiness we felt.  With that in mind, one Saturday I looked in the pet column in our local paper.  We had looked online too, but then thought why not try the paper.  One listing jumped out as I looked.  It actually listed a free dog and was in a nearby town, only about 30 miles from us.  I called and a young man described the dog and said they were moving and could not take her with them to their new home, as they also had a cat and smaller dog.  He said this dog was about 50 lbs., which is what we felt our limit was for weight.  So, off we went to meet the dog who became our Suzie.

Although we had directions, we didn’t know the other town very well, and we had a little trouble locating the street.  Finally we did find the street and the address though, and got to meet our new “best friend.”  Fortunately we had taken a leash along, as this sweet dog was tied in a dirt yard, with no collar.  So we looped the leash through the hand-hold on it, and slipped it onto her.  She seemed anxious to go with us!  She hopped into the back seat in our car and, as we took off, never even seemed to look back.  Although the young man had told us her name, we neither one could remember what he had said, so we just started calling her Suzie and her ears perked up and she seemed to like her new name!

Our daughter lived in that same town, so we dropped by her home so she could meet Suzie.  She had us all come in and when she reached down to pet Suzie, Suzie flopped over on her back to have her chest and tummy petted.  What we saw shocked all of us!  Her whole tummy was BLACK with fleas!  Well, we immediately headed for home as there was a pet supply store only a block or so from where we lived.  That was our first stop!  When we got home I applied flea powder to her tummy, plus gave her a dose of the liquid treatment to her back (it doesn’t work for 48 hours, and she needed help right then!).  The young man had mentioned he gave her a flea bath as “she had a couple of fleas.”  I’m not sure just how long ago that was, because she must have had a “thousand” fleas on her poor tummy!

It was like Suzie knew she was “HOME.”  She found her dog bed and some toys very quickly and seemed totally happy, as were we!


Factors Associated With Dog Owner and Dog

by staff

happy-dog-owner1-300x225-1The relationship between an owner and his/her dog is determined by a number of factors.

Pack instinct

Through the domestication of dogs they still retain their primitive instincts. Every dog belongs to a species that led a communal life. In every dog pack there is an order of rank and each member of that pack knows and accepts his or her place. There is only one leader who watches over, guides, disciplines and commands followers. The leadership will only be challenged by other members of the pack when the leader has shown to be incapable of leading. The domesticated dog still retains pack instinct. The dog must take its place in a pack which has human members. An owner must become leader of the pack. The owner must not only be the leader but also a friend. Owners should adopt an easy going nature. Dogs will develop mentally if their owners understand and appreciate their dog’s mental capabilities.

Moods
Although a dog recognizes differences between moods in a leader, a dog does not understand the reason behind the mood. A dog will become extremely unhappy when its leader is in an unpredictable mood. During training exercises, the owner must control their moods of anger or frustration, which avoids confusion and insecurity in their dog.

Fear scent

When humans are subjected to panic or fear, adrenalin goes into the blood stream and produces a specific odor in the sweat. A dog’s nose can detect this odor and the dog will immediately sense superiority. This can be a reason why a dog may become aggressive around a nervous human who is attempting to handle them.

Anthropomorphic

There is a difference between canine and human intelligence. The difference is a dog thinks in terms of mind pictures. Each mind picture stimulates the next without any mental effort. People who do not accept the differences between the human and canine mind, will never be as successful when training dogs as those people who understand the psychology of a dog. When a dog carries out a positive action on their own accord, it is not because their brain has solved the problem, but because of some previous action that has provided the stimulus to the next. Dogs receive impressions through senses and respond with an action.

Territorial instinct

A dog in a wild state had community or pack maintained control of a particular area or territory. This territory had clearly defined boundaries which members of neighboring packs respected. Boundaries were defined by urinating on trees and grass. This indicated to other dogs where one territory ended and another began. In the domesticated dog, these instincts still remain.

Temperament

Temperament in the dog is modified to various degrees by such characteristics as aggressiveness, timidity, laziness and alertness. Although temperament is largely governed by inheritance, certain characteristics can arise from experience. Nervousness, for instance, may be the result of earlier bullying or wrongfully applied training. Most dogs, regardless of temperament, have a capacity for teamwork and acceptance of training. However, the owner must understand the temperament of his/her own particular dog and train it accordingly. Although training methods are laid down, they must be adapted to suit individual dogs.


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