Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life is short, wag more, bark less! We can learn a lot about living from observing dogs!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Keep you pets safe during the summer! Learn more at www.mylocalhomeshow.com go to the "From Our Experts" page to read my articles under Pet Care.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's rattlesnake season! Get your dogs snake avoidance trained! It may save their life!
Wags n Licks- dogs need calm assertive leadership to feel safe and peaceful!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Check out my booth on My Local Home Show!

I just joined a local online home and garden show at www.mylocalhomeshow.com that helps me market my business through TV, radio, billboards, networking and social media marketing at a fraction of the cost that I would pay on my own. Plus, there are lots of other local Tucson home and garden related businesses as part of this unique community! Check it out and be sure to visit my booth under Pet Care- Doggie Diva Pet Care, LLC! You can also find me at www.facebook.com/doggiedivapetcare or www.twitter.com/doggiedivaDeb if you would like to read up on some of my wags, barks and licks tips!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Preparing for Spring and Summer

Happy Spring! The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees are a buzz and a bloom exploding with fragrant color! Thank God for all the rain this winter! It has made for a beautiful spring!

And, although the new birth of spring brings with it all the beauty of a waking world ready for a new season, there are also dangers to beware of! The rattlesnakes will be coming out of hibernation soon! I hike with my favorite pal Pepper, my English Spring Spaniel, off leash on the Aqua Caliente trail. This year he is going to get rattlesnake avoidance class so I know he will be safe if he ever encounters a snake on the trail. These classes are VERY effective and remain so for many years afterwards. You can even have your dog retested. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well the training sticks! The best places in Tucson for these classes are the Humane Society (my first choice so the class fee supports them), Garvin's and Asso. Pet Plaza and also Jimmy Dog Company all offer these classes that range from $65-75 per class.

Also, please make sure you stay current with all your dog's vaccinations, most importantly their 3 year rabies (needed for keeping their dog license current) and also the 7 in 1 annual vaccination that covers all the really nasty bad stuff like Parvo, Distemper and the doggie flu!
Bortadella is a nasal spray vaccination for kennel cough, otherwise known as the doggie cold.
Keeping your dog current on these vaccinations protects them from getting sick with life threatening diseases, some of which are very difficult to treat. In fact, rabies is 100 % fatal and completely avoidable.

In Arizona, there is an epidemic of rabies in the wild. If you ever see a nocturnal animal like javelina, coyote, skunks or rodents during the day that don't seem to be afraid of you, seem drunk, or are swerving when they walk STAY far away from them and report that siting to animal control immediately! That animal most likely has rabies and is extremely dangerous!

The desert does pose some threats for us to beware of so be careful out there and yet enjoy being out there exploring, hiking, camping, and living life. Afterall, life is short so wag more, bark less!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sniffing around? Check out my blog www.doggiedivadiaries.blogspot.com
Here's a bark- never ever leave a dog or a child unattended in a hot car!
Here's a lick- when you adopt or rescue a pet you are saving a life!
Here's a wag- you will live a longer, happier, less stressful life with a dog as your pal!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's your wag? Dogs can be trained at any age!
I just trained my 4 1/2 yr old Springer Pep to speak!
What's your lick? There is doggie ice cream called Soft Paws.
What's your growl? Never ever break up a dog fight with your bare hands near there sharp teeth!
Throw water on them!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Local Home Show welcomes Arizona Rolling Shutters as a new exhibitor!
My Local Home Show welcomes Arizona Concrete and Hydraforce Powerwashing to our community!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Heart of a Dog

My purpose on this planet is to love. Will you love me? Even if you don’t, I will love you. I will love you because I am a dog and that is what we do as dogs. We love. That is our humble errand and purpose on this planet. We are the zen masters reincarnated to teach unconditional love. And, you humans are our chosen companions to love. We chose you and have led you to believe that we need you. That is because you have egos and we don’t. We don’t mind. We are here to teach you. We are here to be examples of unconditional love and humility. It is our mission and our hope that it is not too late to influence you humans and show you just how wonderful the world could be if we all just wagged more and barked less. We are the masters of the universe when it comes to unconditional love. That is what our destiny is ordained by God. And, we don’t even need credit, recognition or awards for it. For loving is what we do best. And, although we are humble and seemingly beneath you in status, under your rule, we surrender to you out of choice, because that is our station in life, to serve through humility and to love.

Even if you are not worthy, I trust you and I am willing to give you all of me heart, soul and body and surrender my will to you. You have the power and control and that is okay with me. So, please be kind to me. For I feel pain even though I may not show it. That is what we do to protect ourselves. But, I do feel physical and emotional pain and disappointment. Even if you abuse and neglect me, I will still love you. But, there will be wounds that develop that will need healing, if I must endure neglect and abuse at your hand. But even then, I will still love. I will hurt and you may break my heart, my bones or my spirit but with love in return, I can pretty much heal from almost anything if given the time and good old fashion love and care.

I would prefer however, to be loved and cared for in return by a trustworthy, strong and calm leader of my pack. But, if you are all I have for my pack, I will accept it, because I am a dog and have a heart full of unconditional love that must be expressed even to the undeserving. We do not discriminate when it comes to something as important as loving. I can’t discriminate or sensor. I can’t reject or judge. It simply is not in my nature. I can tolerate a lot but, all I really want is a secure position in your pack, direction, companionship, affection and love. And in exchange, I will love you unconditionally and be the most loyal friend you will ever have in your life. The added benefits will be a life of entertainment, fun and amusement for you and for me. For when I feel loved and safe and my needs are met, there is nothing I won’t do to show you how grateful I am. Just show me, tell, train me but most of all learn to love me and you will receive blessings you can’t even imagine.

I am a dog and I need to love. I also need to be loved. But, that is not a prerequisite for me loving unconditionally with abandon and enthusiasm, the likes of which a human could only aspire too. I am a dog, and therefore a lover of life. There really isn’t much more to say. I am here to love and be loved and teach love through my example.

Oh and by the way, my heart is more vulnerable than you may be aware of and my mind more alert and cognizant than you give me credit for. So please consider that the next time you may raise a hand in anger or move somewhere where I am not welcome or yell at me for something I don’t understand. It hurts and I do feel it. My heart breaks whenever you are not happy with me or hurt me but I forgive quickly and easily. You don’t ever have to worry about me holding a grudge. We just don’t do that. Another one of God’s great design features hard wired into us dogs. We just forgive, shake it off and move on. We like being in the present moment with no regrets. It is simpler and more fun that way.

Did you know that it scares me when you leave me too? Will you come back? I have to admit we do have abandonment issues. We dogs are just hard wired that way. It is a survival thing in our DNA. We never know and just wait and wait and wait, hoping for your return. Every time you do come back to me, I am so very grateful! Thank you for having me in your pack and providing and protecting me. There was a time when I could do that for myself but since I chose to surrender my will to you, I agreed to trust you in exchange for my surrender. We have a deal you and me. You lead, provide for and protect and I will love you and be your loyal companion and friend and probably surprise you when you need me most and least expect it.

The important thing is to love and hopefully be loved in return. The challenge is loving without condition and hopefully receiving love in return but if not, to keep loving and loving and loving anyway, not in hopes of getting something in return. I love because it is as natural to me as breathing. I can’t help myself. I am a dog and therefore, I love. I need to love. I can’t help myself. I have to love no matter what your response may be. Do you see? It isn’t conditional because I can’t help myself. I have to love because I am a dog. And, to be a dog means to love unconditionally. Think about is. What is dog spelled backwards? G-O-D. There are no accidents, God intended for us to be the teachers of unconditional love. We are dogs therefore we love.
Check out my latest article, "The Heart of a Dog" on my blog at www.doggiedivadiaries.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dogs are Better than People- continued

Dogs are better than people continues. As I think off all the wonderful characteristics of my own dogs as I watch them play, sleep and eat, I become more convinced of their superior characters.
They are authentic about who they are and what they need. Have you ever witnessed a dogs trying to be a cat or feeling insecure it was a dog? Perhaps there is insecurity about how someone has treated them as a dog but never for just simply being a dog.

The thing I am amused by most about dogs is how in the present moment they are and how easily they literally shake things off after a little scuff with another. They could be growling and fighting with another dog one minute, then shaking it off and ready to play the next. They don't hold grudges. They forgive, forget and move on, giving you another chance to love and engage with them.

ANother thing I absolutely adore about dogs is that they are always happy to see you when you return home, no matter how long it has been since you left. They never interrogate you about where you were and what other dogs you've been seeing, demanding to know whose smell is that on your clothes? Which could be a problem when you're a pet sitter and around other dogs all day long. My dogs even seem grateful that I have brought home some new and interesting smells for them to gorge their sniffers on when I first arrive home. Ah, yes, dogs are better than people in so many delightful ways. Tell me one of your fun stories about how dogs are better than people for you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Storm Anxiety in Dogs

It's thunderstorm season and with thunderstorms comes, well thunder! Like fireworks during the 4th of July, thunder can be a very scary thing for some dogs while others are oblivious. If you've read or seen the movie "Marley and Me," you are aware of poor Marley's extreme fear of thunderstorms to the point of mass destruction! When dogs are afraid they are thrown into their basic animal instincts of fight or flight. They are either searching to take cover somewhere they feel safe or they may go on a wild frenzy of destruction trying to escape their fear. In either case, your poor canine companion is experiencing extreme stress.

What makes storm anxiety so terrifying for our sweet canine companions is that they have no one to fight and in most cases no where to flight to, so they are imprisoned with no relief of this debilitating fear. They can’t see or smell the object of their fear so there isn’t a way for them to check it out for themselves to satisfy their curiosity or conquer their fear. There is no escape!

Can you imagine being terrified and not having any where to run to or no control over your escape to a safer place? It is up to us to take this fear seriously and help our furry family member adjust through training, as well as providing a safe environment to help comfort them through the worse part of the thunderstorm. Playing soothing music in the back ground to help drown out some of the thunder noises helps. But, oddly enough trying to comfort them usually doesn't. Dogs can be trained out of their fears and should never be allowed to dominate you or your household by holding you prisoner to their fears. The remedy is to find a qualified dog trainer to help train you on how to work with your canine companion to hopefully either eliminate their fear all together or at least minimize it substantially. This will help them be more at peace and cope better during the stormy season as well as help strengthen the bond between you and your favorite furry friend. Sometimes, if the fear is beyond reproach you can ask your vet to prescribe your dog a mild sedative or find an herbal tincture that may help calm your little pal down until the storms pass. One way or the other, your dog is worth the time and attention it will take to help them overcome or, at the very least, lessen their fear of thunderstorms. And perhaps, you won’t be singing in the rain together, but maybe sitting in front of a nice warm fire peacefully enjoying each other’s company instead. Life is short, wag more, bark less!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back Yard Dogs are Sad and Lonely Dogs

Dogs are pack animals. That means they are social and need interaction with others. They are not hard wired to be all alone day after day trapped behind walls or fences they can't escape from.

If we are going to have dogs in our lives we should learn about and understand them so that we can care for them just as we would any other family member. When we bring pets into our lives they become part of our family. Therefore, we are responsible for their well-being in all respects. That means their emotional well-being as well as their physical health. It breaks my heart everytime I see one single dog who lives in the back yard all by itself. I guarantee you that is a very sad and lonely dog. I don't understand why people who banish their dogs to their back yards even bothered to get them in the first place, if they aren't going to have them be part of their family. Even if they are loved, they certainly aren't getting the time and attention they would if they were living in the home with the rest of their pack.

Dogs need socialization and interaction to learn and be healthy and happy members of the pack. They learn from each other and they learn from us. When they are quaranteened out back they miss out on the interactions and opportunities to learn and grow. They are disconnected and isolated and therefore not really part of the pack. They are more like a frustrated prisoner who is forced to witness a pack they long to be part of but aren't accepted in. They are trapped with nowhere else to go, so they make the best of the situation and eagerly accept whatever scraps of attention are thrown their way occassionally. Really! That is no way to treat a dog. They are far too deserving a creature of love than that.

Dogs deserve to be loved like a fmily member and therefore treated like a member of the family pack. When they are they reward us with protection, loyalty, companionship and unconditional love like no other could master. Dogs are social, intelligent, pack animals who are hard wired to be part of a social community so please invite them inside and let them stay. You will love the results and so will they!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Dogs Are Better Than People- Continued

Dogs are better than people because they are great listeners who never judge. In fact, they could care less what we say but are more concerned with how we say it. It is quite amusing to say anything you want to them in a kind tone of voice no matter what the content and they will wag their tails and follow us anywhere.

They are content to just be with us no matter how attractive, thin, old, rich or poor we are. They love us unconditionally. They are happy to simply have us around to be their companion. It is so simple to love and be loved by a dog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dogs Need Exercise

I have a lab puppy staying with me right now who is becoming a dog right before my very eyes. He is growing huge fast! He looks like a dog but still acts very much like a giant puppy! Like most labs I've met, he's a lovabe and fun dude to have around- most of the time. This weekend however, I notice he is more unruly and frustrated as he tries to engage the other dogs to play. He is annoying them because he has not been getting enough exercise to help him burn off all his playful, puppy energy. He can't help himself as he tries to engage the other dogs or me to play, play, play! He is just doing what comes naturally to him. He is just trying to burn up all that energy that has been building up in there from lack of exercise and proper daily discipline and training.

I agree with Ceasar Milan, The Dog Whisperer's, philosopy that dogs first need exercise, then discipline and then affection in that order. When we exercise dogs to burn up all their pent up energy then they can relax, focus and pay attention to us. Then we can train them into the appropriate behaviors that make them loving, well-behaved companions. When we don't help them burn up all their energy, it gets stuck in them. They aren't able to focus their attention on listening to us because they are like a hyper-active child who has not had their medication. Exercise is the medication almost all dogs need in order to be happy and then be trainable. It starts there. If they aren't given a regular way to release all their instinctual hunting, mating energy, they start looking for ways to release all that pent up frustration. They start to misbehave and do things we deem as "bad."

What they are really doing is just trying to exercise their natural tendencies. If we don't give them a regular, daily, healthy outlet to burn up all their natural energy they will find a way to burn it up that we don't care for. So, if you want your dog to be better behaved then you have to start with commiting to and following through on a daily walk of at least 30 and preferrably 60 minutes each and every day. This is not only a way to help them burn up all their energy but also a time for you to bond and be their pack leader. When they get the exercise they need then they are freed up to give their mental attention to listening to and following you, their pack leader. Walking them each day can satisfy all the elements of a healthy, happy bond between you. While you are walking, you are giving them the physical as well as mental stimulation they need but you also can use that time to train them on the leash as well as to sit, stay, and focus their attention on you primarily. Once they are exercised and you have spent some time bonding with and training them on your morning walks then reward them with a treat and some of their favorite smooches like ear and belly rubs. The added benefit to you in helping your dog be happy, healthy and well-behaved through daily exercise is that you improve your health too and may even drop a few lbs along the way. It is a win/win practice for you as well as your favorite canine companion.

Life is short, wag more, bark less,

Doggie Diva Deb

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dogs Are Better Than People!

The more time I spend with dogs, the more I discover that they are superior to humans in many ways that we could learn from. For example, as I have mentioned previously, they respect each other's space. I have watched them many times while trying to get past another dog who is comfortable and has claimed a certain area. They give each other a wide berth or they find another path or give up trying to get past them. Watch out for those young, ignorant pups who charge gleefully through a space, when they run right over an elder who doesn't take kindly to the intrusion! They learn quickly!

Dogs are better than people because they forgive and forget and shake it off. Due to my business as a pet sitter, Doggie Diva Pet Care http://www.doggiedivapetcare.com/, I get to observe animals, mostly dogs all day long. Yes, it's a tough job but someone has to do it. What I have come to appreciate about dogs is once they have had an upset with another dog they literally shake it off and move on. It is a fun and fascinating process to watch. In fact, I've noticed that dogs shake things off as a way of transitioning from one event to the next. Which segways nicely into how in the moment they are. They live in real time. And yes, for those of you who have wondered or doubted if dogs have memories, of course they do! How could we train them without a memory? How could they remember where they live and get all excited as they get closer to their favorite dog park to visit?

They are in the present moment, ready for the next invitation or content to "just be" and lay around and relax. They conserve their energy when there isn't anything fun or interesting for them to bark at, sniff or chase. They have an interesting way of being able to just go with the flow and just be in the moment, relaxed and happy to lay at our feet yet, they are poised for action as soon as something intersting captures their attention. Then up they go barking to the new exciting event of the moment. It's a nice balance don't you think? They are relaxed yet alert!

This is just the tip of the iceberg on this post! There is so much more we could blog about on this one subject. I have just gotten the converstion started. How about you? I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.

in your opinion, what makes dogs better than people? :-)