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May 17, 2014

Enjoy the Spring! (staying safe and careful!) 5 Smart-Ass Answers to Stupid Dog ?’s, 8 Ways to Green Your Pet

From our Rover Reporter, ERNESTINE

We can finally, definitely say it, SPRING IS HERE!  We will be writing about some great ways to take advantage of local spring and summer activities and fun places to go.  For now, check out your dog’s leashes, collars and harnesses to make sure they are safe and fit well. If your dog is not great on a leash, talk to trainers and our staff, who can make suggestions and guide you in the right direction.  And be careful letting your dogs off leash. So much can happen, just be sure the situation is truly safe and will not change suddenly or abruptly.  Check out your off leash commands to get your dog back to you when necessary.

Pretty preachy, huh? Partly because they love me and partly because they are in range of so many dogs and stories, my parents have trained us carefully. Until we go to the BEACH that is – then all bets are off!

The next article is from Dogster.  Emily Kane writes her honest answers to non-dog-people’s silly questions.

Enjoy the weather! And don’t forget when it is too rainy or hot, Crate is climate controlled 24/7!

ernie on sand1

Later, Ernestine

5 Smart-Ass Answers to Stupid Pet Questions

When I get a dumb question about my dog, I’m SO tempted to use one of these comebacks. Let me just start by saying that these smart-ass answers to dumb question only run through mymind — they don’t come out of my mouth. Negativity doesn’t help dispel misconceptions and sarcasm doesn’t cure stupid. But sometimes it is nice to let these things out (most of the cartoons below are from me, too), just so my head doesn’t explode. Here are five smart-ass answers to dumb questions people ask me concerning my dog:

1. “Why is your dog so skinny?”

I blame Santa’s Little Helper on The Simpsons. That dog is clearly either anorexic or on drugs. He’s a terrible role model for impressionable young canines.

santas-little-helper

But seriously: Obesity seems to have become the norm in many people’s eyes. A dog with a perfectly normal body condition will attract disapproving tuts and glares at the dog park. On top of that, some dogs are also just naturally skinny as part of the normal variation between individuals of any species. And now that I have a greyhoundit seems some people think I am somehow responsible for the tuck of her belly, which is quite normal for any lean sighthound. Now, I spoil my dogs, but getting a Greyhound to be obese is beyond even my cosseting abilities. (Although the rescue I got her from told me one adopter did manage it.)

atkinsdiet

I would encourage anyone to consider that a dog who looks lean might be this kind of individual or type, older and dropping a little condition in their advanced years, or struggling with illness under the care of a conscientious owner. So it is not a good idea to leap to conclusions too quickly.

2. “Why do you walk your dog so much?”

I’m actually casing your house, but now you’re on to me I guess I won’t rob you after all.

walk

But seriously: A lot of people seem to think you walk your dog until it poops and then go home. If someone could invent a dog toilet, these people probably wouldn’t walk their dogs at all.

But walks are more than that. For many dogs, the world is pretty small, except what they see, smell, and experience when they are outside with us. I live in an apartment. So, yes, I walk my dogs. A lot. Consider it my contribution to the neighborhood watch.

3. “Are you going to pick that up?”

No, I like to watch my dog poop, do a celebratory dance with a colorful plastic bag in each hand, and then walk off and leave it there as an offering to the gods of community discord.

poop_1

But seriously: I can see that not everyone is picking up after their dog.  And I can understand how that pisses off anyone who wants to live in an attractive neighborhood where you can walk down the street without playing poop hopscotch. But go hassle those people who pretend they can’t see their dog is pooping and do not even have poop bags with them. Don’t take it out on me. And when it comes to poop that does not belong to my dog, I am no more interested in picking it up than you are.

 

4. “Is that dog hair on your jacket?”

No, it is chupacabra hair; my house is infested with the damn things.

hair_0

But seriously: There are three times I want you to mention dog hair on my clothing. 1) As an excuse to start a conversation about dogs, 2) If someone nearby is deathly allergic to dog hair, and 3) If I am about to go into an important meeting with a billionaire neat freak. The rest of the time I am at peace with dog hair being my everyday accessory. I just try and keep it down to a few here and there rather than the full fluffy.

 5. “How can you spend so much money on your dog when there are children starving in Africa?”

If you ask this while you are in the middle of handing out nutritional packs to starving refugees, I will be more than willing to discuss it with you.

money

But seriously: I think it is incorrect to think of pets as disposable accessories. Dogs and people hitched their fates together tens of thousands of years ago. Dogs and other domesticated animals helped humans become settled people with agriculture and advanced trade and technology — to essentially become what we are today. In many ways we created each other as modern species.

Suggesting that we could just dispense with dogs to save money for other purposes makes no more sense to me than to suggest we could just dispense with driving motorized vehicles or dispense with wearing clothing for decorative purposes rather than just to regulate our temperature. It ain’t going to happen, so lets figure out how to carry out these activities in a responsible and sustainable way.

 

 8 Ways to Green Your Pet

From: Jane Harrell, Petfinder.com

Have you thought about earth-friendly steps you can take to help reduce your pet’s carbon pawprint? Here are some ideas:

1. Prevent pet overpopulation “Spay or neuter!” All pets have some environmental impact, but spaying and neutering keeps the pet population in check (and unwanted litters out of shelters).

2. Buy in bulk When you buy the biggest bags of pet food available you save on gas back and forth to the store.  It also cuts down on packaging waste (and is easier on the wallet).

3. Scoop poop Unscooped dog poop can pollute water and spread disease You can take it a step further by composting pet waste. (Pet poop should be kept separate from the compost you put on your vegetable garden.)  

4. Recycle what you can’t reuse Make sure to recycle dogfood cans — many other types of food have recyclable packaging, so be sure to check. Organic dog food often comes in recyclable bags.  If you can find a good food that  is locally made,  there is less pollution.  

5. Use earth-friendly pooper scoopers Use biodegradable poop bags,  and biodegradable poop scoopers.  Reusing old plastic bags works too.  

6. Make your own pet toys There are so many household items that can be renamed a dog toy. The cardboard rolls inside paper towels and toilet paper, old clothing can be tied into knots for a tuggie toy, and, of course, old balls!  

7. Harness cuddle power! In the winter, turn down the thermostat and snuggle with your dogs!  

8. Adopt a homeless pet This brings us back to our No. 1 point: Pets, like humans, inevitably impact the environment. But buying from a pet store or breeder just encourages more breeding, while adopting a homeless pet doesn’t add to the pet population. Pet adoption is the original green option!

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