Meeting Lakota

Two weeks ago, I met my dear friend Evelyn’s foster dog, Lakota, during our monthly Game Night. (Sorry – I meant to get this post up earlier but grad school got in the way!) I don’t have a ton of experience with German Shepherds but I think that Lakota is a rather handsome fellow. From what Evelyn told me, he was found in a sad, emaciated state but had been quickly gaining weight in her care. He has also been neutered.

“Good evening! I’m Lakota. Will you please pet me?”

During the course of Game Night, Lakota showed everyone that he was an exceptionally GOOD DOG and very much people-focused. He knows how to “sit” on command and apparently “shake”!

Everyone commented on Lakota’s good manners. Even when there was a lot of food around, he didn’t bed or attempt to counter-surf. He was more interested in receiving pets.

He didn’t bark at all but it was obvious he was happiest sitting beside someone. (Whenever he did, he was quite the gentleman.) Throughout the evening I was rather distracted because I wanted to pet this handsome boy all the time, especially since he kept giving me big sad “PLEASE PET ME” eyes!

How can anyone resist those eyes and that sweet face?

Don’t worry – I petted him plenty, gave him chest and belly rubs (he appears to be a bit ticklish), and can confirm that he is indeed smoochable.

Here, Lakota gave my friend Tom a smooch. In general, Lakota is not an overly licky dog.
BOOP!

Lakota is available for adoption through Austin Pets Alive! You can find more information about him here.

Dogs and Space

Graphic from the Friends of the Pflugerville Animal Shelter

Socializing your dog is an imperative part of being a responsible pet owner. Other dogs may not appreciate an unknown dog running up to them and invading their space, and similarly, people may not not like a dog doing this, even if that dog does this out of overly friendly enthusiasm. Remember, some people are legitimately afraid of dogs because of negative experiences. Service dogs and their handlers need to focus on going about their business and not being distracted by an unpredictable dog.

Photo by Pexels

Be respectful of other people, their dogs, and the spaces of both.

Dog Spotlight: Sully

Former President George H.W. Bush passed away on November 30 at the age of 94. What you may not have known is that Mr. Bush had been matched with a service dog, Sully, earlier this year. One can only imagine what is going through Sully’s mind in this poignant photo:

Photo credit: America’s VetDogs/Facebook

Both Zoe the Seeing Eye Dog and The Washington Post have highlighted the importance of Sully’s service to former President Bush. By doing so, I hope this sheds light on the invaluable assistance that service dogs provide to their handlers and loved ones.

National Hug Your Hound Day

National Hug Your Hound Day was created by the author and canine behaviorist Ami Moore, the “Dog Whisperer of Chicago”. The holiday is observed annually on the second Sunday of September.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

National Hug Your Hound Day is about “truly observing your dog (from his point of view” in his environment and everyday life”. Like a number of other pet-themed holidays, it focuses on the happiness and health of your pet. Oh yeah, it might also be a perfect excuse to ensure your dog is sufficiently hugged!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Photo courtesy of Pexels

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day! While I may have cats currently, I am in fact an equal opportunity pet enthusiast. For many years my family had Miniature Schnauzers and I still harbor an enormous soft spot for that breed. Dogs do so much for their humans, so it is only natural that we take some time today (and every day!) to celebrate and love our canine companions.

My parents now have two rescue dogs: Chiquita (aka Chica and Pretty Girl), a Kooikerhondje, and Chiya, a Tibetan Spaniel.

Look how cute they are! Chica is an extraordinarily good girl with great manners and an earnest, loving personality. Chiya is a sassy little diva. Both are highly snuggleable, as I can attest.

In addition to their two cats, my Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Jan have an unlikely trio of rescues: a Border Collie (Legend), a Great Pyrenees/Lab mix (Storm), and a Great Pyrenees (Kuma).

Legend is…enthusiastic to say the least. Who could resist that face?

Storm is a big, lovable galoot. His tail can clear a coffee table in one swipe. He thinks he’s Chiya’s size, which leads to hilarity.

Kuma (Japanese for “bear”) looks like a canine polar bear! Check out that fluff!

Do you have dogs? What do you love about them? Please share in the comments!

DOGust and Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

Happy DOGust everyone! And, whew, it is HOT. So obviously it’s time for indoor parties. Do you throw birthday parties for your pets? I have friends who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. However, if you don’t always know your dog’s birthdate. Thanks to the efforts of the North Shore Animal League and the ASPCA, the month of DOGust and the Universal Birthday for Shelter and Rescue Dogs came into being!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

At a loss at how to throw a DOGust-worthy “pawty”? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. If you’re going to have any outdoor activities, do it early in the morning and in the shade. Dogs can get overheated and sun- or heatstroke.
  2. Offer lots of water to human and canine guests to keep them cool and comfortable.
  3. Don’t forget refreshments. Peanut butter treats would be a good idea, or, for the ambitious, a bone-shaped puppy cake.
  4. Provide splash time in a kiddie pool and lots of toys so everyone can play. If some want to play inside, that’s okay too.
  5. In lieu of presents for your pup, request that guests make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group. This can be cash, supplies, time, or skills!
  6. For party favors, all the canine attendees could get bandanas.
  7. Remember to take plenty of snazzy photos!
  8. Have fun!

Photo courtesy of The Dodo